The simmering warfare between Karunanidhi’s two sons, MK Stalin and MK Alagiri, seems to have reached a point of no-return with the disbanding of the Madurai unit of the DMK, which was controlled by Alagiri. This could eventually lead to a split in the DMK and change the political complexion of the state. The fallout will be felt in the coming Lok Sabha elections as well.
Tamil Nadu politics is undergoing a churn with the DMK planning to hook up with Captain Vijayakant’s DMDK after having dumped the Congress, though the Congress is still hoping that Karunanidhi will have a change of heart and take it along in the battle against Jayalalithaa who now looks invincible.
At the national level, too, a split in the DMK will have an impact. If forced out, Alagiri has the option of forming an alliance with the Congress and winning some seats in south Tamil Nadu. For the Congress, joining hands with Alagiri will be a boost.
Alagiri loyalists, however, hint at a compromise formula to end the impasse in the DMK. It wants the Stalin camp to make huge concessions in the Lok Sabha elections for that to happen. Alagiri would use the crisis to bargain for crucial seats and posts for his supporters in the bigger elections if he were to take a backseat in the district elections.
Alagiri is still a force to reckon with in Madurai. His supporters are confident that if elections are announced for the district unit, Karunanidhi’s elder son would win hands down.
“Until organisational elections are held and functionaries are elected, a temporary committee is appointed,” the DMK statement on Saturday said. The ad-hoc committee comprises Stalin supporters. On Sunday, the Alagiri camp stayed away from the media.
But neutral observers, including party workers of chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s AIDMK, felt the Madurai strongman could react sharply if his conditions are not met in the next few days.
“He would play spoilsport in the district elections in Madurai by fielding rebel candidates and embarrass the party,” said an AIDMK MLA. “The bigger threat would be in the Lok Sabha elections where he could come out in the open against his brother (Stalin).”
Since there are no permanent enemies in politics, Alagiri also has the option of trying to make peace with Jayalalithaa. Apart from slamming one more nail into the DMK coffin, the Tamil Nadu CM will get the chance to split the powerful family right down the middle.
Alagiri has been under attack from Jayalalithaa on one side and his brother on the other.
He is now pushed to a corner by the disbanding of the Madurai unit. Even before this, Stalin had put some of his lieutenants in the Maduri unit of the DMK after Jayalalithaa booked many of Alagiri’s lieutenants under the Goonda Act. All he can ask in return for supporting the ADMK is the freedom to run his fiefdom centred around Madurai.