CHENNAI: Putting behind its bitter poll debacle, DMK today set up a six-member team of senior party leaders to recommend measures to restructure and revitalise its district units ahead of the assembly elections in 2016.
91-year-old DMK Patriarch M Karunanidhi is keen on charting a road map for the party to ensure its return to power in the state.
"Certain issues need to be addressed and decisions on such issues will be announced, which will make the party a sharpened sword," he had said on his birthday on June 3.
Two days after his observations, DMK today officially notified the committee, comprising S Thiruvengadam, T S Kalyanasundaram, R Rajamanickam, former minister Thangam Thennarasu, MLA, advocate K S Radhakrishnan and S L T Sachidanandam.
The panel will study the present structure, its shortcomings and corrective measures to be taken in a bid to enhance confidence among party workers and make them battle ready for the assembly polls.
T K S Elangovan, Organisation Secretary told PTI that certain districts have comparatively more assembly constituencies which puts a burden on secretaries.
Also, there are party issues to be handled in local bodies like municipalities and corporation areas, he said.
The committee will look into all such aspects and come up with remedial measures, Elangovan said.
A district secretary is quite powerful in the DMK with significant authority and he is also the party's pointsman during polls.
Besides acting as a bridge between the high command and the cadres, he is the nerve centre of party work in districts.
DMK currently has a secretary for every 32 revenue districts barring Chennai and Madurai where it has two.
The party is evaluating if bringing in more secretaries in districts would help or whether another level of functionaries would be appropriate. PTI VGN VIJ MSR APR HKS
DMK's organisational pyramid starts with "Kilai Kalagam" or ward committees, the grassroots level party structure.
Next comes "Ondirya Kalagam" or union-level committees. Third are district committees which link up with the "Thalamai Kalagam" or the high command.
DMK recently introduced an intermediate level in its organisational structure to strengthen the party at grassroots level.
This is the "Ooratchi Kalagam" or panchayat-level unit, a new power centre between ward and union committees, to cater better to local party needs and enhance accountability at the grassroots level.
A similar change may be brought in for the district level party apparatus if a consensus emerges.
Besides making organisational changes, the party is quite serious in studying if intra-party or local political issues had a bearing in the drubbing it received in the polls.
DMK has asked its unsuccessful candidates in the LS polls to send a report to the high command if they had faced "intra-party or local political issues" during elections.
The party has also asked for a similar report from constituency level poll managers appointed for elections.
These reports will have to be sent before June 12 and the party president will scrutinise it and take appropriate action.
The high command's steps has sent positive signals to cadres that the party may be down but not out, and is keen on bringing in changes to help rejuvenate it.
Welcoming setting up of the committee, J Anbazhagan,South Chennai District Secretary and MLA told PTI that the six member panel would scrutinise all aspects.
"Whether the geographical boundary under the charge of a district secretary needs to be widened or narrowed down are among the issues the committee will study," he said and hoped that the exercise would strengthen the party.
DMK said the committee has been formed to simplify the administrative set up at the district level and further strengthen it. The panel would evaluate feasible action plans and recommend it to the high command.
DMK drew a blank in Lok Sabha polls.
Ruling AIADMK led by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in a spendid show won 37 of the 39 seats, leaving one seat each to BJP and its ally PMK.