The DMK has announced that it would hold its 10th party conference in Tiruchy in February 2014, months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. While the conference has to be held once in every five years according to the party’s constitution, the event is sure to be a major fixture in the party’s run up to the elections.
According to an announcement from Anna Arivalayam, the DMK headquarters, the party flag will be hoisted at the conference by party patriarch M Karunanidhi and the conference will be inaugurated by general secretary K Anbazhagan. Party heir apparent M K Stalin will be the treasurer to the conference, while former minister and Tiuchy district secretary K N Nehru will serve as chairman of the welcoming committee. The conference is scheduled to be held on February 15 and 16.
“The timing of the conference is opportune. It gives us the opportunity to announce the party’s direction for the next five years. Most important, however, will be the opportunity to inspire the rank and file of the party for the coming Lok Sabha elections,” said a senior party functionary. Party sources however refused to confirm or speculate if the DMK’s allies will share the stage at the conference. “That depends on who our allies are. The decision on this will be taken at a later date,” said the senior functionary. He said that the decision would rest upon the political situation at that time.
The DMK presently has only two confirmed allies in the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and the Indian Union Muslim League.
There is still uncertainty over the allegiance of smaller parties like the Puthiya Thamizhagam and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, which had been allies of the AIADMK in the 2011 Assembly elections and had supported the candidature of Karunanidhi’s daughter K Kanimozhi in the recent Rajya Sabha election.