Stalin backtracks on resignation, DMK to discuss poll debacle
M.K. Stalin, DMK treasurer and party chief M. Karunanidhi's son, Sunday offered to quit following the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, but rescinded his decision following pressure from the rank and file.
His elder brother and expelled DMK leader M.K. Alagiri, however, dismissed the offer as a "farce".
A DMK leader told IANS that Stalin offered to resign from the post accepting moral responsibility for the defeat. However, hours later, DMK leader Duraimurugan told reporters that Stalin had decided not to press his resignation offer.
According to Duraimurugan, Karunanidhi had advised Stalin that DMK would not fade away after this defeat and there was no need for him to quit.
"Leaders and cadres requested Stalin not to resign. Heeding party president's advice and agreeing to our request, Stalin decided not to press the resignation issue," he said.
Stalin's supporters gathered outside his house and demanded that he must not quit, while another group assembled outside Karunanidhi's residence and demanded that Stalin should not resign.
Later, Karunanidhi clarified that Stalin did not submit his resignation letter.
He also said the party would convene a meeting of high level committee to deliberate on the reasons for party's defeat in the general elections.
Stalin's offer follows DMK's debacle in the Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu where it failed to win even a single seat. Of the state's 39 seats, the ruling AIADMK bagged a whopping 37 and the Bharatiya Janata Party and PMK won one each.
The run-up to the Lok Sabha election saw a bitter fight in the party's first family, leading to the dismissal of Alagiri, the DMK south zone organising secretary, and his expulsion.
Alagiri described Stalin's resignation offer a "drama" and a plan to capture the "top party post".
Alagiri told IANS: "It's all drama. His supporters will urge him to stay put and he will continue as before. It is part of a plan to bag the top leadership."
"In the current set up, there is no future for the party," he said.
"The party president (Karunanidhi) has to take charge. Only then the party has a future."
Asked if he would rejoin the DMK, Alagiri said: "If I am called and given due respect, I will join the party again."
Reacting to Alagiri's comments, Karunanidhi said the party forgot him several days ago.
Alagiri, 63, had earlier accused the DMK of nominating only rich candidates in the Lok Sabha election and ignoring long-time activists. He blamed Stalin, 61, for this.
Stalin had also reportedly argued against an alliance with the Congress in the state. He also refused to give ticket to any Alagiri supporter.
On Jan 24, the DMK suspended Alagiri for opposing Stalin, who is tipped for the party's top post.
Founded in 1949, the DMK is one of India's oldest parties.
(Posted on 18-05-2014)