Stalin leans on first-time MLA, party-hoppers; I Periyasamy out of favour
The emerging power centre and its growing clout within DMK ever since patriarch M Karunanidhi was confined within the four walls due to failing health has left old war horses in the party upset.M K Stalin who was crowned last year, through an amendment in the party rules
CHENNAI: The emerging power centre and its growing clout within DMK ever since patriarch M Karunanidhi was confined within the four walls due to failing health has left old war horses in the party upset.M K Stalin who was crowned last year, through an amendment in the party rules, as working president, is completely relying upon a group of select persons, said sources.The league that advises the leader, who is desperately aspiring to capture the seat of State power, includes his son-in-law Sabareesan, Rajya Sabha member R S Bharathi and young, first-time MLA P T R Palanivel Thiagarajan, son of party legend P T R Palanivel Rajan, according to party sources.
After the emergence of the new coterie, veteran leaders like I Periasamy and Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, both deputy general secretaries of DMK, and those once very close to Stalin, including former minister K Ponmudi and former Chennai Mayor M Subramanian, both MLAs, have been seemingly sidelined in the party, sources said.When Stalin assumed the newly-created post of working president, Periasamy was tipped to become the treasurer, a position that Stalin still holds. But now, he is finding a tough contestant in Palanivel Thiagarajan whose connections to Sabareesan heavily tilt the scale in his favour. However, Stalin has not yet made the final choice.
“Majority of party leaders expect Periasamy to be handed the treasurer’s post since he is one of the senior-most leaders. Yet, Palanivel Thiagarajan is favoured,” a senior DMK leader told Express.His growing clout in the party was evident when he was recently given a separate office chamber in the party headquarters, Arivalayam.
Stalin used to spend more time with him during Assembly sessions to discuss issues much to the chagrin of other top leaders, including Durai Murugan who is serving a ninth term in the House.
Another set of people whom Stalin is relying upon is party hoppers who found DMK a better nesting place. One among them is P K Sekar Babu, MLA and Chennai East district secretary. Sources said he is often handed the task of holding party events by mobilising huge crowd, like the recent felicitation event as part of Murasoli platinum jubilee celebrations.
The style of functioning of the DMK working president and his inability to extract advantage of changing political situations also worries the leaders in the party, the sources said.
“Unlike Karunanidhi, he is not consulting top leaders on political issues or organisational matters. His approach is not inclusive,” rued an MLA.He lamented that Stalin lacked the acumen and wisdom to checkmate the opponent in winning the game.