M K Stalin, the prince-in-waiting for years, is finally set to become the king. With no one else, other than Stalin, in the race at the end of the scheduled closing time of 4pm on Sunday for filing nominations, the DMK working president will be declared its new president at the party’s general council meeting to be held in Chennai on August 28.
As against the expected trouble from his Madurai-based older brother M K Alagiri, who has been threatening to play spoilsport with meetings with his followers in the temple city, the filing of nominations on Sunday for the party’s two posts – president and treasurer, turned out to be a tame affair. While Stalin was the sole candidate in the fray, with several sets of nominations filed in his name, for the post of president, senior DMK leader S Duraimurugan turned out to be the lone candidate in the race for the treasurer’s post.
M K Stalin shows his nomination papers for the post of DMK president to his mother Dayalu Ammal at Karunanidhi’s Gopalapuram residence on Sunday as his wife Durga Stalin and sister Selvi look on. (Right) Stalin bows before a portrait of his deceased father Karunanidhi
Despite the big occasion, Stalin and party leaders kept Sunday’s schedule simple. Armed with a set of nomination papers, where several prominent district secretaries had proposed his name, Stalin, accompanied by party leaders, visited the Marina to seek the blessings of his father by placing them at the place where Karunanidhi was buried. He also did the same at the Anna memorial. He next sought the blessings of DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan.
He later visited the Gopalapuram residence and lit a lamp in front of his father’s portrait and took the blessings of his mother Dayalu Ammal. In between, his sister and the party’s
Rajya Sabha member M K
Kanimozhi too joined to wish him and offered a peck on his cheek. Stalin then headed to DMK headquarters, Anna Arivalayam, and handed over his papers to the party’s organizing secretary and presiding officer for the election R S Bharathi. Duraimurugan followed him next and submitted his nomination for the post of treasurer. With no one else competing for the posts of president and treasurer and Monday being the last day for withdrawal of nominations, announcement of the winners – Stalin and Duraimurugan – will remain just a formality on Tuesday, when the party’s general council is scheduled to meet to elect a new leader.
“There are 63 administrative district heads in the DMK. All the 63 district secretaries have signed the nomination forms, proposing Stalin for the post of president. Over 300 sets of nominations were filed on behalf of Stalin to the post,” said DMK sources.
Madurai, Alagiri continued to hold deliberations with his followers for the third day in a row, reportedly gearing up for his September 5 rally in Chennai. “Do you expect me to propose Stalin’s name for party president?” Alagiri asked when quizzed about Stalin filing his nomination for the president’s post. “I am discussing with my followers and I will show my might when the bypolls are announced,” Alagiri said.