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‘Son’ sets on DMK

‘The statement is reflective of the high command’s stand,’ party general secretary K Anbazhagan told reporters on the action against Alagiri, who is also a former union minister.

Karunanidhi, who is favourably disposed toward an alliance with DMDK, had recently distanced himself from Alagiri’s remarks against any such alliance besides his criticism of DMDK founder Vijayakant, who also hails from Madurai.

In a veiled warning to his son on 7 January, the DMK president had said those going against party diktat on key issues like alliance will face disciplinary action, including expulsion. Incidentally, on Friday’s decision to temporarily suspend the Madurai MP from the party came hours after he met his father at the latter’s Gopalapuram residence.

The timing of the disciplinary action assumes added significance as it comes just ahead of the DMDK meet on  2 February in which Vijayakanth is expected announce the party with which he would tie-up for Lok Sabha polls.

DMK leaders feel that the action would send the ‘right signals’ and soothe ruffled feathers of the DMDK leadership. DMDK chief Vijayakanth was offended when Alagiri said he would ‘never consider captain (as Vijayakanth is addressed by party supporters) as a politician.’

The actor-politician’s party is being aggressively wooed by both DMK and BJP for an electoral tie-up for elections.

On Alagiri’s suspension, Anbazhagan said while there were enough platforms and fora within the party to air divergent views and grievances, he had not chosen to use them. Alagiri also made disparaging remarks about the ‘high command of parties who wish to align with’ DMK, he said in an apparent reference to Alagiri’s criticism of Vijayakant in a Tamil TV channel recently.

‘Considering that his continuing in the party is not proper, and that it could affect party discipline, Alagiri is being temporarily removed from all party posts including primary membership,’ Anbazhagan said in the statement.

The action against Alagiri, often caught in a sibling rivalry with younger brother M K Stalin on who would be Karunanidhi’s political heir apparent, seemed to have enthused supporters of the rival camp.
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