TN political scape witnessing sons' rise

Chennai, Mar 23: Notwithstanding the debate over dynasty politics, leaders prefer to handover baton of their political empire to their wards rather than to senior colleagues as is seen in Tamil Nadu.

Be it the DMK, where its chief M Karunanidhi's younger son M K Stalin has emerged as the next in command, or PMK or the Congress, sons appear to be taking the lead as the parties battle it out in the April 24 Lok Sabha elections.

The succession war on who would be the political heir to Karunanidhi in DMK appear to have been resolved with the emergence of Stalin, who has dumped his elder brother M K Alagiri.

Strongman of DMK in the southern Tamil Nadu, Alagiri not only lost the war but has also been suspended from the party for alleged indiscipline ahead of the general elections.

Stalin, who has earned the nickname "Thalapathi" (Commander) among the party cadres, is commanding the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kalazhgam in the electioneering as his father and cadres pin their hopes on him to revive the party which was routed by AIADMK in the 2011 assembly polls and finished third behind actor-politician Vijaykanth's DMDK.

Stalin, well trained under the tutelage of his politically seasoned father, has so far lived up to the expectations of the party in taking firm decisions on various issues including forging of alliances for Lok Sabha polls.

According to DMK circles, it was Stalin, who successfully blocked renewal of poll truck with Congress, despite repeated attempts by the Sonia Gandhi-led party to persuade the former UPA trusted ally to take it on board.

The 89-year-old wheelchair-confined Karunanidhi has entrusted the electioneering task across Tamil Nadu to Stalin and considering his fragile health and age, he would only be lending support to him by campaigning in select constituencies.

The task of improving upon DMK's tally of 18 seats in 2009 Lok Sabha election this time rests on Stalin, who is leaving no stone unturned to turn the party's fortunes.

The backward community Vanniyar-based PMK, a regional outfit is also witnessing a son's rise with Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, being catapulted to the centre stage by his father and party founder leader Dr S Ramadoss.

The role played by Anbumani, a former union minister, in clinching an alliance with BJP, much to the chargin of his father, indicated his emergence in the party and its affairs.

Congress veteran and Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has handed over his Sivaganga constituency to his son Karti, indicating it would be his ward who would take forward his political empire in the state.

Though Chidambaram underlined the need to promote younger generation, his decision to shy away from contest in the coming polls has come under sharp attack from BJP and could have stemmed from the state of disarray the Congress finds itself in the state, having been isolated without allies.

Will the rise of sons ensure a shining fortunes for their fathers, is to be seen.


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