CHENNAI: Despite the apparent revamp in the DMK organisation, most of the old war horses have retained their fiefdom. This is very clear from the list of those who have emerged victorious in the party organisational poll, announced by DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan on Thursday. The party will hold its General Council meet on January 9.
Of the 39 district secretary posts for which elections were held, 26 are new faces. The DMK leadership has divided the 35 party districts into 65 in an effort to put an end to the ‘reign of satraps’ and ‘groupism’. While elections were held for 39 districts, the rest are to be choses by ‘consensus’. A few old hands like Pongalur N Palanisamy in Coimbatore and Karuppasamy Pandian in Tirunelveli and former Union Minister SS Palanimanickam from Thanjavur have been sidelined.
Prominent winners include Former Ministers N Suresh Rajan (Kanyakumari East), Thangam Thennarasu (Virudhunagar North) and KKSSR Ramachandran (Virudhunagar South), as well as N Periyasamy (Tuticorin South), L Mookiah (Theni), former Union Minister S Gandhi Selvan (Namakkal East) and AKS Vijayan (Nagapattinam South).
Most of the new faces are supporters of MK Stalin, DMK treasurer and son of party chief M Karunanidhi, who had edged out his brother MK Alagiri. Stalin loyalist V Velusamy is the new Madurai urban north district secretary while non-partisan M Manimaran, son of former Speaker Sedapatti R Muthiah, has become Madurai South district secretary.
In a shot in the arm for former Union Minister TR Baalu, his camp follower Durai Chandrasekaran has been elected Thanjavur South District secretary. Having the distinction of defeating thespian Sivaji Ganesan in the 1989 assembly elections, the former supporter of Palanimanickam had switched sides.
For the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, her acolyte T Mano Thangaraj has been elected secretary to Kanyakumari West district.
In Tiruchy, KN Nehru continues to rule the roost. Retaining Tiruchy South district for himself, he has ensured his supporter Kaduvetti N Thiyagarajan secure Tiruchy North district. Nehru’s rival and former minister N Selvaraj, has been made to bite the dust. Similarly, in Dindigul, former Minister I Periyasamy has successfully made his son IP Senthil Kumar as secretary of Dindigul East district while DMK Whip in the State Assembly Chakrapani has become secretary to Dindigul West district. In Ramanathapuram district, former Minister Subha Thangavelan’s son, Subha T Divakaran has been elected district secretary.
In the Gounder-dominant Karur district, Nanniyur Rajendran, a non-Gounder, has consolidated his position by emerging as the district secretary.
Consensus has worked in Tirupur North and South, where Stalin acolytes K Selvaraj and L Padmanabhan have been elected unopposed.
In Coimbatore, party strongman and former Minister Pongalur N Palanisamy finds himself sidelined by his rivals. His son Painthamil Pari was denied the opportunity to contest. Stalin loyalist M Veeragopal has become the Coimbatore Urban North district secretary while former district treasurer A Natchimuthu is the Coimbatore Urban South district secretary. For the Coimbatore Rural district, former legislator CR Ramachandran, is the secretary while R Tamilmani, son of former Pollachi MLA Raju, has become secretary of Coimbatore Rural South.
Scotching rumours of his joining the BJP, Palanisamy said he would better remain as a primary member of the DMK. Veteran S Kalyanasundaram has been elected Thanjavur North district secretary.
In Tiruvarur, Poondi Kalaivaanan has retained his post as district secretary without much resistance. As far as Dharmapuri district is concerned, factionalism has come to an end with both Inbasekaran and Alagiri supporter V Mullaivendhan being sidelined. Now, Stalin acolyte Thadagam P Subramani has been elected district secretary.