CHENNAI: DMK's high-level meeting on Monday did not discuss inducting the expelled leader MK Alagiri back into the party. This is despite the threat made by Alagiri's supporters that the former Union minister would start a new party and challenge DMK if he is not given a re-entry.
The BJP, which is keen on making inroads in Tamil Nadu, had also extended an open invitation to Alagiri.
The DMK sources said the party president MK Stalin, who is also Alagiri's brother, seems to be keen on not sharing the credits of an election victory with any other family member, except his son Udayanidhi who now heads the youth wing of the party. Udayanidhi was chosen to start the party's campaign for the upcoming Assembly polls.
Also, inducting Alagiri into the party would put many senior functionaries in southern Tamil Nadu at peril since most of them made up in their career by standing against Alagiri who once wielded much influence in the region. This might also cause confusion as the party is gearing for the campaign for the Assembly polls that are just a few months away.
The DMK's decision not to discuss the re-entry of Alagiri would be a sure disappointment to his supporters. Last week there were reports that Alagiri was all set to join the BJP. But people close to Alagiri denied and said the family circles had assured Alagiri that he would be taken back and given a honourable post in the party. Alagiri's supporters were expecting a decision on this to be taken in the high-level meeting on Monday.
A DMK source privy to Monday's meeting said, “Nothing was discussed on Alagiri. We discussed only the campaign schedule and how to tackle the hurdles put by the state government for our campaign."
People close to Alagiri could not be reached on Monday for comments despite repeated attempts.
The DMK sources privy to the matter categorically said that it is unlikely that Alagiri would be given a re-entry at this point in time. "Stalin has taken the entire credit of the party's landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In the assembly polls also, he does not seem to want to share the credit with any other family member, except his son. That's why Udayanidhi was chosen to start the party's campaign," said the source.
A state-level DMK functionary said, "Even if our leader wants to take back Alagiri, the party leaders from the southern region will oppose it. Most of these leaders were those who opposed Alagiri at a time when he was influential in the party and made up in their career after Alagri was expelled from the party. If Alagiri returns, then he would surely put clutches on them."
Within the DMK currently there is no leader willing to speak in support of Alagiri. Since some of his loyalists were expelled in the aftermath of Alagiri's expulsion, even those who may be sympathetic to him have learned to hold their tongue.
Interestingly, KP Ramalingam, former secretary of the DMK's farmers wing, who was recently expelled from DMK, joined BJP on Saturday. Also an Alagiri loyalist, Ramalingam declared that he would work to bring Alagiri into BJP's fold.