In the past, Karunanidhi has hinted several times that Stalin is his political heir-apparent. But on Thursday, he spelt this out clearly. “I will work hard for the welfare and betterment of the society till I am alive. The answer to who after that is Stalin,” he said, addressing a party function.
Stalin, who was the deputy chief minister in the last government headed by Karunanidhi, is now the DMK treasurer. He is ranked third in the party hierarchy, after Karunanidhi and general secretary K Anbazhagan. Stalin is also the founder leader of the party’s youth wing.
The choice is not surprising, as Karunanidhi has often praised Stalin’s work, and even supported him when his elder son, Union Minister M K Alagiri, expressed displeasure over the way the youth wing was re-organised.
Alagiri has considerable clout in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu. All eyes are now on the organisational polls to be held this year. Earlier, Alalgiri resisted any move to anoint Stalin as the successor, even threatening to contest against him in the organisational polls. While Stalin did not respond openly, he quietly wooed Alagiri’s supporters , ensuring a stronger grip on the party organisation.