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Expulsion threat to Alagiri

Alagiri

Chennai, Jan. 7: M. Karunanidhi today warned son M.K. Alagiri of expulsion after he declared he did not consider potential ally and DMDK leader Vijayakanth a “serious politician”.

Alagiri’s remarks made in a TV interview recently threatened to throw a spanner in the DMK’s efforts to woo Vijayakanth for a pact with the DMK. Karunanidhi had declared he would be happy if the DMDK came on board.

Alagiri, a former Union minister, was asked during the interview telecast on Sunday about his remarks ahead of the 2011 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections that he hoped his “good friend” Vijayakanth would take a “wise decision” — on an alliance with the DMK.

Vijayakanth, who ultimately went with the AIADMK, had reacted angrily to Alagiri’s description of the two as “good friends”. “Have we played together as youngsters for Alagiri to call me a friend?” Vijayakanth had asked.

Referring to this snub by Vijayakanth, Alagiri said during the interview telecast on Sunday that Vijayakanth’s reaction had proved “he was not a serious politician and that the DMK should not consider aligning with him” for the forthcoming general election.

Karunanidhi and younger Stalin have been trying to rope in Vijayakanth, who is also being courted by the BJP and the Congress. The duo were alarmed that Alagiri’s jibes could torpedo the alliance talks with the temperamental Vijayakanth, who is expected to announce his decision at his party’s state conference on February 2.

An angry Karunanidhi issued a statement today saying Alagiri’s remarks against Vijayakanth were “not only regrettable but also condemnable as they militated against his view that he would be happy if the DMDK joined the DMK front”.

“They do not represent the official view of the DMK. Only the DMK leadership (read Karunanidhi) has been authorised by the general council and executive committee to take a final decision on alliances. Under these circumstances… if anyone expresses any views against the official line of the party, they would face strict disciplinary action, including expulsion from the party. This would apply yesterday, today and tomorrow,” Karunanidhi asserted.

For Alagiri, expulsion will be nothing new as he was sent out of the party in 2001 after he fielded rebel candidates in some Assembly seats in Madurai — seen as his turf. This had resulted in the defeat of Palanivelrajan, DMK leader and Speaker in the outgoing Assembly. Alagiri was quietly readmitted to the party before the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.

In the weekend interview, Alagiri also complained that he was sidelined by the leadership and that important decisions were being taken without his knowledge. “Though I was a central minister, I was not even informed about the party’s decision to leave the UPA.”

He appeared to raise another banner of revolt by asserting he would not accept anyone other than his father as his leader, “even if that person is named by father” — an allusion to younger sibling Stalin. He said he was keeping quiet as he did not want to create any disquiet in the party.

The comments are being seen as a sign that Alagiri’s ties with his party are at breaking point and Karunanidhi’s warnings suggest he is ready to sacrifice his son to cement the alliance with Vijayakanth.

“Unless Karunanidhi sends a tough message now, it would be difficult to contain Alagiri when Stalin is projected the DMK’s chief ministerial candidate during the 2016 Assembly elections,” said a senior party leader.