The rift between Alagiri and his step brother MK Stalin was widening since Alagiri did not want an alliance with Vijayakant whom he saw as encroacher on his fiefdom in Madurai and south Tamil Nadu.
This decision has been taken by Alagiri probably to buy time and not to muddy the waters when the party is fighting with its back to the wall against a strong Jayalalaitha-led AIADMK.
This would also mean that for now time has been called on the ongoing spat between Stalin and Alagiri.
Alagiri on Wednesday paid a visit to his mother’s house in Chennai to inquire about her health but made no effort to see his father, unlike what was reported in the media.
Alagiri’s disenchantment with Stalin and his known dislike for Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam’s (DMDK’s) Captain Vijaykant was made public through an interview with a Tamil TV channel. The timing was perfect as it came just a day after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) decided to disband the Madurai unit of the party in an effort to rein in Alagiri who controlled the unit.
Earlier, neither Alagiri nor Stalin went public with their differences but now it seems that Alagiri is no longer going to keep quiet as he has been painted into a corner. He has made several comments on the DMK leader’s fondness for Stalin and once said that DMK is not a “mutt” that the throne can be handed down. Alagiri’s open condemnation of Stalin in the recent interview has, however, not come in for any comment from Karunanidhi.
Stalin too has kept to his old habit of not talking about the rift and left a media briefing as he was bombarded with questions on the Alagiri interview. Karunanidhi, however, said that no one will be spared if they oppose the party line.
The Stalin camp has already complained to Karunanidhi that the AIADMK’s huge margin of victory in the recent Yercaud assembly bypoll was due to Alagiri’s supporters shifting loyalty. Alagiri’s supporters are upset over DMK wooing Vijayakant since he too hails from Madurai. If the alliance comes through, then Vijaykant will dominate Madurai, once considered the bastion of Alagiri. This is the reason why he has been sniping at Vijayakant. His decision to go along with the party line means that he will lie low for the
The Stalin camp said that the assembly elections saw all the ten seats in Madurai being won by the AIADMK alliance. The granite industry that was the source of funds to Alagiri faced the heat with AIADMK cracking on them for illegal mining. Most of them are closed down and fighting court cases. Alagiri’s son Dayanidhi too has been implicated in the illegal granite mining scam. Stalin camp points out that south Tamil Nadu, which comes under Alagiri as he is the organising secretary of the region, suffered the worst rout in the Assembly polls.
Sources in the DMK said the alliance with the DMDK is the only hope for them to put up a decent show in the Lok Sabha polls. The DMDK which has 28 seats in the Assembly and close to 10% votes, on the other hand is adopting a wait and watch policy as it does not have a great stake at the national level.
Sources said the comments made by Alagiri against Vijayakant would have invited expulsion but as polls are coming near, the DMK does want to face a rebellion. Alagiri termed Vijaykant as having no political maturity. Meanwhile, the family ties seem to be unaffected. Alagiri’s son Durai Dhyanidhi who is a film producer is close buddy of Staliln’s son Udhaynidhi Stalin who is also a film producer. The grandchildren often call on their grandfather, together.