The DMK, despite the alliance with the Congress for the upcoming Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, is still to overcome its internal problems.
A day after the two parties entered into their alliance, DMK supremo and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Karunanidhi's estranged second son M K Stalin lashed out at the party saying no alliance with it would succeed and backed the ruling AIADMK.
Speaking to Thanthi TV in an interview, Alagiri, who was expelled from the DMK before the last general elections in 2014, said the AIADMK had won 38 seats in the last polls (Jayalalithaa's party won 37 of 39 Lok Sabha seats in 2014) while the DMK did not win any. He said the DMK can not win with any allies, more so under the leadership of MK Stalin, his younger brother and Karunanidhi's heir apparent.
Last month, speculation was rife about Alagiri's return to the party but both Karunanidhi and Stalin ruled out any such doubt. Karunandihi on Monday slammed Alagiri for criticising the party and asked his party workers to ignore him completely. He also said Alagiri's criticism of the DMK-Congress alliance was unacceptable.
"He has been using my name for his betrayals and it is condemnable. I appeal to party cadres not to consider his comments. Ignore him and his remarks," the veteran politician said, as per a PTI report.
Alagiri said the DMK can't win and backed AIADMK, fuelling strong reaction
The 91-year-old leader also went on to praise Stalin in his party organ 'Murasoli', saying the latter's 'Namakku Naame' campaign played a positive role in boosting the party's supporters. He also greeted Stalin as a 'Thalapathi' (commander).
Is DMK leadership anxious over Alagiri's potential threat in southern TN?
The strong words on Alagiri point to the fact that the DMK leadership is still concerned with the harm the former Madurai strongman can cause to the party in southern Tamil Nadu. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Alagiri had ensured the DMK's rout in the nine parliamentary seats in southern Tamil Nadu. Although Alagiri isn't the same force he was once in the southern parts and Stalin has filled his place in a big way, but given this is related to family affairs, one never knows which way human emotions can turn in the last minute.
Alagiri's high and low
Alagiri was the man who had held the DMK together in southern Tamil Nadu after Vaiko left the party and floated the MDMK in mid-1990s. He also helped the DMK to win three successive Assembly by-elections in southern Tamil Nadu in 2008 and 2009. He also saw nine out of 10 candidates fielded by the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance in the 2009 general elections. He himself also made the parliamentary debut that year.
On the hind side, the leader's public image took a beating after he was arrested in connection to the murder of a Madurai-based DMK functionary T Kiruttinan in 2003. Besides, his supporters burning a Tamil daily's office in Madurai in May 2007 after it had predicted him as a poor successor to Karunanidhi, was also another low point in his political career. Three employees were also killed in the incident. His low attandance in Parliament as a minister also made him a subject of ridicule for his opponents.