Sibling rivalry threatens Indian party

Eldest son of DMK party chief suspended amid succession battle between two brothers in Tamil Nadu party.

    M Karunanidhi has written to the Indian prime minister seeking security for his younger son [Creative Commons]
    M Karunanidhi has written to the Indian prime minister seeking security for his younger son [Creative Commons]

    A dynastic row has erupted in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu with DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) president M Karunanidhi, 89, suspending his eldest son MK Alagiri, 62, from the party.

    The octogenarian party chief has written to the Indian Prime Minister seeking security for his younger son MK Stalin, 60, who will be the party’s “star campaigner” in the forthcoming elections, reported The Times of India.

    At a press conference on Tuesday, an emotional Karunanidhi said, “He [Alagiri] even said Stalin would die in a few months. How can a father tolerate this?"

    Stalin’s supporters burnt effigies of his elder brother and plastered posters against Alagiri on Tuesday evening, said reports.

    Karunanidhi had suspended his eldest son Alagiri from all party posts and activities on January 25, citing “indiscipline”.

    Alagiri is a former federal minister while his younger brother Stalin is the party’s youth wing president in the capital Chennai. Karunanidhi’s daughter M Kanimozhi is a member of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament and was arrested in May 2011 over the 2G Spectrum scam.

    Last year Karunanidhi announced Stalin as his political heir of the DMK. Alagiri had protested the move and said he would not accept Stalin as party chief.

    Alagiri also objected to his younger brother’s suggestion that the DMK form an electoral alliance with the DMDK (Desiya Murpoku Dravida Kazhagam) party led by popular actor Vijayakanth, say reports.

    'Hatred'

    "I don't know why Alagiri has nurtured so much hatred against Stalin," Karunanidhi told reporters.

    Alagiri refuted his father’s accusations saying he wished his father’s “tears be shed over my dead body and he must live to a 100 years”.  

    Political watchers in Tamil Nadu say the sibling rivalry will affect the party’s performance in the forthcoming elections in May. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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