Rock City donned a festive look as the DMK’s 10th State conference began with a lot of fanfare on Saturday. The event began with a flag hoisting on a 90 feet high mast and is aimed at giving party leader M Karunanidhi a plank to rejuvenate party workers and ensure victory in the forthcoming Parliamentary election.
The city was crowded with huge cut outs, posters and digital banners of M Karunanidhi and treasurer M K Stalin, carefully avoiding any portraits of the suspended M K Alagiri. To a layman, it would be plain from the publicity materials of the conference that Stalin is the undisputed head of the party, after MK.
The conference would also help the DMK supremo, to reassure party workers after the recent family row. It is crucial for the party to put up a brave face and exhort party workers to work for the forthcoming poll battle.
On Saturday, Karunanidhi hoisted the party’s flag from the 90 feet post, which was named after K N Ramajayam, who is the brother of K N Nahru. The latter welcomed the gathering.
Nine portraits of late Dravidian leaders including Periyar, Annadurai and Sir Pitti Thiyagarayar were unveiled by the DMK leaders.
General Secretary Anbazhagan, Treasurer M K Stalin, Principal Secretary Arcot N Veerasamy, Rajya Sabha M P Kanimozhi, deputy secretaries Duraimurugan, K Ponmudi, Former union minister A Raja, V P Duraisamy and Sarguna Pandian were among the prominent leaders who shared the dais.
Speculation was rife whether cadre from Madurai would attend the conference since no invitation was extended to Madurai strongman M K Alagiri, who was suspended recently. It ended on Saturday as cadre in close to 600 vehicles arrived. They exhibited similar enthusiasm and mingled freely with the cadre from all parts of the district.
After the suspension of Alagiri from the post of South Zone Secretary, it became uncertain whether participants from Madurai would come at all where most of the cadre are loyalists of Alagiri. But the participation of the cadre in large number disproved the apprehension. On Saturday, the members from rural districts led by Secretary Moorthy, began their journey to Tiruchy in 300 vehicles. They reached Tiruchy via Thuvarankurichi, Kovilpatti and Manapparai. Similarly, 300 vehicles from the urban districts arrived at the City.