Alagiri says he won’t contest this election, predicts doom for father’s DMK

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Opinion polls have predicted that M Karunanidhi’s DMK will not win in this year’s general elections, half the seats it had won in 2009. His son MK Alagiri reckons that is a generous assessment.

“It will be big if the DMK wins one or two seats,” Mr. Alagiri told. The party had won 18 last times.

Mr. Karunanidhi expelled Mr. Alagiri as follow-up action after suspending him for indiscipline in January and excluding him from his party’s list of candidates for the national elections a few weeks ago.

Mr. Alagiri, 63, the sitting MP from Madurai in south Tamil Nadu, says he will not contest the elections this time. But he plans to move court challenging his expulsion from the DMK.

“No one can say DMK doesn’t belong to me. Doesn’t mean we would go out. DMK headquarters was built using my hard work too,” he had said yesterday. Today, he said, “I will raise questions about the protection of DMK’s property.”

He also said, “I don’t care whether Stalin becomes DMK president or not.”

Mr. Alagiri and his younger brother MK Stalin had for years been engaged in a tussle over who would inherit their father’s political mantle. The older son turned into a professional renegade, transacting in a protracted and clanging campaign against his younger brother after the latter was chosen by their father as his successor.

Mr. Karunanidhi, 89, said yesterday that Mr. Alagiri was expelled because despite his suspension, he had not abstained from public criticism of the party in recent months.

Without naming his sibling, Mr. Alagiri had professed recently that his father was being influenced and misled by “traitors.”

His meeting leaders of the BJP and its allies in Tamil Nadu also reportedly irked his father; the fraternising suggested that Mr. Alagiri and his supporters were not above working against the DMK’s candidates despite their demurrals.