Alagiri challenges bid to hoist Stalin on DMK

Chennai, Jan 4 (IANS) M.K. Alagiri, the elder son of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, Friday said the party was not a Hindu hermitage to name a successor to his father.

"DMK is not a 'matam'," Alagiri told the media in Tamil on his arrival at the Chennai airport.

Karunanidhi, who Thursday gave a clear hint that his younger son M.K. Stalin would be his political successor, has in the past stated that the DMK was not a "Shankara matam" where the senior Shankaracharya selects a successor during his lifetime.

Alagiri was commenting on Karunanidhi's statement that Stalin would carry forward the DMK's fight for the cause of Dalits.

The statement was widely seen as a hint that Karunanidhi wanted Stalin, who was his deputy when Karunanidhi was the Tamil Nadu chief minister, to take charge of the DMK.

Although from the same family, Alagiri and Stalin do not see eye to eye on some major issues concerning the DMK.

Alagiri pointed out that Karunanidhi himself had earlier said that he would not like to select anyone as his successor.

Alagiri has in the past made it clear that he would not accept anyone apart from Karunanidhi as the DMK leader and that he was ready to contest if there was a battle for the party leadership.

Karunanidhi, who has led the DMK since 1969, is now 88 years old and in poor health. The issue of who will lead the party -- one of India's oldest -- after Karunanidhi has been raised repeatedly.

Stalin became the treasurer of the DMK in December 2008. He became deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu six months later when the DMK ruled Tamil Nadu.

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