MK Stalin elected DMK chief, party demands Bharat Ratna for Karunanidhi
Chennai, Aug 28: M K Stalin was elected president of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Tuesday at the party's General Council meeting.
At the party's General Council meeting held here, DMK General Secretary K Anbazhagan said Stalin was elected unopposed, as he was the sole candidate who had filed nomination for the party chief's post on August 26.
The 65-year-old Stalin's elevation comes about three weeks after the death of his father and party president M Karunanidhi on August 7 and amidst threats by his elder brother and expelled DMK leader MK Alagiri that the party will have to face "consequences" if he was not re-admitted into its fold.
Chants hailing Stalin as "Thalapathy" (Commander) rented the Kalaignar Arangam where the meeting was underway even as the General Council members cheered with loud applause.
DMK Principal Secretary Durai Murugan was elected Treasurer, succeeding Stalin, a post he vacated recently in view of his proposed elevation.
Meanwhile, the hashtag DMKThalaivarStalin top-trended on Twitter with tweets congratulating Stalin flooding the platform.
DMK passes a resolution at party's General Council meeting urging the Union government to confer Bharat Ratna to former Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi.
Earlier, two-minute silence observed at DMK General Council meeting at party hqs to pay tribute to former TamilNadu CM M Karunanidhi, former PM Atal Bihar Vajpayee, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, former TN Guv Surjit Singh Barnala and former UN secy general Kofi Annan.
Elevation of Stalin and Durai Murugan has become a foregone conclusion after their names were proposed by all the 65 district Secretaries. None other than the two have filed their nominations for the posts.
However, Alagiri in January 2014, Karunanidhi had expelled Alagiri for "anti-party activities".
Now, Alagiri is opposed to Stalin's elevation as the party president. He said that the DMK will face threat after his "rally in Chennai on 5 September". "I have never desired for any post in the party, even when thalaivar (leader) was alive. Why would I seek a post, now? (I have) never aspired to become the DMK president; Stalin is in haste to claim the post."
Earlier, Alagiri had claimed that he had the support of the "true loyalist cadres".
Born as the third son of the Late leader M. Karunanidhi and Dayalu Ammal on March 1, 1953, Stalin was named after the Russian leader Joseph Stalin because the leader had passed away just four days his birth.
He joined the party as a 14-year-old and was elected to the General Committee of the party in 1973. He was arrested under the maintenance of Internal Security act during emergency. Stalin was elected to the Tamilnadu Assembly five times since
1989. This is the sixth time that he has been elected for the Assembly from the kolathur Constituency. He is also the State opposition leader presently.
Stalin was also the first Deputy Chief Minister of the State in 2009. He also served as Chennai's mayor in 2001.
Founded by C. N. Annadurai in 1949, DMK was a breakaway faction from the Dravidar Kazhagam that was popularly known as Justice Party until 1944. This political outfit had been headed by Karunanidhi from 1969 until his death in August.