DMK fallout: Is it end of the road for Alagiri?

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DMK fallout: Is it end of the road for Alagiri?
Chennai, Jan 24: The feud in the biggest political family in South India - the Karunanidhi family- is out in public now. On Friday, the Dravida Munetra Kazhakam chief suspended his son and a prominent leader in the party MK Azhagiri from the party.

The suspension is part of 'disciplinary action' against the party strongman who had raised voice against DMK's decision to form alliance with Vijayakanth-led DMDK.

Alagiri's eviction could also be seen as the fall out of the much-talked-about sibling rivalry in the party between Alagiri and Stalin, Karuna's sons from his second wife Dayalu Ammal.

Alagiri's political career began in 1989 in Madurai, when DMK won a majority of seats in the state Assembly election. Gradually, he built a clout of himself in the temple district and rose to be the most prominent leader in the region. It was under his leadership, DMK won seats in Madurai till 2011.

Money and muscle power were his means of retaining power, for his capabilities as a political leader were poor. Presently, his wealth, as disclosed in 2009 elections, stands at Rs133.65 crore. All his family members own a number of properties in India and abroad. He has business investments in film production, real estate, education, hospitals and mining. (Read more: The godfather of temple town) .

The family feud began when Karuna chose Stalin as his successor to lead the party and tried to promote him at party events and in media. Alagiri was irked by this move and his protest wasn't taken into consideration. Alagiri invested all his time and efforts in strengthening his influence in Madurai, to take on Stalin. When rest of the Tamil Nadu belonged to Karuna and Stalin, Madurai was Alagiri's turf, where the father-son duo had no place. Karuna sensed Alagiri's hunger for power and saw him as a threat to Stalin's rise.

However, his downfall began in 2011, when Jayalalithaa's AIADMK came to power in Tamil Nadu. Around the same time, 2G scam was creating a ruckus in the Central government, which DMK is a part of. Karuna's daughter MK Kani Mozhi, union telecom minister A Raja and DMK's top leader Dayanidhi Maran had to face arrest and the whole DMK family was in CBI scanner. Alagiri, who was then serving as union minister for petroleoum and chemicals, was constantly being slammed for his inefficiency.

Meanwhile, Stalin took control of all the important handles of DMK including its TV channel and newspaper. Alagiri could no longer pose challenge to Stalin, who had, by far, become the most prominent leader in the party.

The once-undisputed leader of Madurai, Alagiri's prominence in the region has been waning since 2011. Jaya unleashed a political hunt against DMK, targetting Alagiri for tax evasion, corruption and land scams. A number of his aides were arrested for various cases including murder of a former minister T Krishnan. Madurai Corporation is now moving court to re-assess Alagiri's properties. In 2012, Alagiri's son Dayanidhi Alagiri was charged with a Rs 16,000 crore illegal mining scam in Madurai.

To complete his downfall, in the first week on January 2014, DMK dissolved the party's city, district and ward units in Madurai. This move indicated that Alagiri is no more an inevitable part of DMK.

Now, having been suspended from DMK, Alagiri is in a bigger danger. Now that Alagiri doesn't have his father or DMK to back him, Jaya would find it easier to get him arrested for the number of scandals he is involved in.

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