Coimbatore: Putting a lid on the succession war, DMK on Sunday decided that it would be continued to be led by 88-year-old M Karunanidhi and resolved to remain in the UPA. Agencies
"The Dravidian movement continues to be led by Karunanidhi," a resolution passed at the General Council meeting here said, in a clear message to the warring siblings party treasurer M K Stalin and Union Minister M K Alagiri against raking up the succession issue.
Supporters of Stalin had on Saturday vociferously pitched for a greater role for their leader which was resented by Alagiri's followers, but the issue was ultimately laid to rest by an upset Karunanidhi himself who reportedly asked the Executive meeting whether they wanted him to step down.
"DMK will continue in the UPA alliance. That's why I said status quo will be maintained," Karunanidhi told reporters after the meeting when asked about the party's position on continuing its ties with the Congress which has come under strain in recent months in the wake of the 2G scam.
He also said the party would not seek replacements for A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran who had quit the cabinet over the 2G controversy.
"We had not sought replacements. As far as the DMK is concerned, those two berths will remain vacant and we will not make efforts to fill them," he said.
The decision on remaining with UPA and not to send replacements for the two Union Cabinet slots came at the end of the General Council meeting.
Karunanidhi refused to commit himself on the succession issue, saying the DMK had a system for electing leaders and the party knew when to conduct the election.
As the sibling rivalry played out at the Council, the party adopted a resolution to continue to be led by Karunanidhi.
But the issue resurfaced later when a former MP was learnt to have asked Karunanidhi to think on whose hands the party would be safe in future, evoking shouts of 'Thalapathy' (commander), as Stalin is referred to, by his supporters.
At this, Karunanidhi adjourned the meeting for lunch break, DMK sources said.
Apparently upset over the developments, Alagiri, who has always maintained Karunanidhi was healthy enough to continue to lead the party, skipped the post-lunch session.
Karunanidhi, however, denied Alagiri had boycotted the session. "If he had to boycott, what was the need for him to attend it at all in the first place," he said insisting his elder son had left after participating in the deliberations.
Asked if his party had any differences with its seven-year old ally Congress, Karunanidhi replied in the negative but said the decision not to send cabinet replacements was prompted by some differences Tamil Nadu Congressmen had with his party.
"Hence, we have decided that there will be no change for the moment... There will be no ministers. The existing ministers will continue. Therefore, status quo will continue," Karunanidhi said.
Asked if the Council had sorted out the succession issue following rivalry between Stalin and Alagiri, he blamed the media for playing such "mischief" ahead of every Council meet.
The party cannot change its leaders according to "whims and fancies" of the media, he said, adding that there was a proper system in DMK since the days of its founder C N Annadurai for electing leaders and office-bearers.
It was his party's right to do that when it wants to and it cannot be according to media's wishes, Karunanidhi said.
He said some Tamil Nadu Congress leaders had publicly aired their displeasure against DMK and it was because of this that he did not seek cabinet replacements despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh keeping them vacant for the party.
A section of state Congressmen had publicly expressed displeasure over DMK's role in the spectrum scam, holding that it had dented UPA II's reputation.
In a resolution, the party said the CBI's decision to oppose the bail of Kanimozhi in the 2G scam was "motivated and biased".
Karunanidhi, however, explained that this did not apply to the entire investigating agency but refers to some CBI officials.
To a question on the party's debacle in the Assembly elections, he said, "I have myself said in the General Council that I am to be blamed for the defeat."
Coimbatore: Putting a lid on the succession war, DMK on Sunday decided that it would be continued to be led by 88-year-old M Karunanidhi and resolved to remain in the UPA.