Despite the diktat issued by DMK south zone organising secretary M K Alagiri to senior party functionaries against mobilising cadre to welcome his younger brother and DMK treasurer M K Stalin, nearly 3,000 party workers belonging to 13 different panchayat unions thronged Madurai airport and accorded a grand reception to the DMK treasurer here on Wednesday.
Stalin arrived here to participate in a function organised by DMK rural unit district secretary P Moorthy, an Alagiri loyalist, to mark DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s 90th birthday. The event also aimed at raising election funds. Most of the party members at the airport were second-level leaders who until recently were staunch supporters of Alagiri.
However, none of the leaders currently known to be close to Alagiri were seen anywhere in vicinity of the airport.
Though he too was present in the city, Alagiri deliberately avoided receiving his young brother.
Instead, he visited a party functionary’s house at Usilampatti under the pretext of wishing them for an ear-piercing ceremony of a baby in the family, though the function was over 10 days ago. Thousands of leaders, who came with six types of folklore dance groups to the airport, waited patiently for the arrival of Stalin, touted as the next chief of DMK, for over an hour.
When Stalin emerged out of the airport, the cadre raised slogans of “Future chief minister of Tamil Nadu’’. Former Minister KKSSR Ramachandran, DMK Madurai Urban secretary G Thalapathi and DMK former Madurai district secretary V Velusamy were among the senior party leaders who received the DMK treasurer at the airport.
After receiving shawls from the party functionaries, Stalin left the airport for a private hotel which he preferred over the house of his elder brother Alagiri.
Alagiri, meanwhile, left for Chennai in a flight around 6.50 pm.