Madurai:  In a move that could further fuel the sibling rivalry in DMK, showcause notices have been issued to 17 supporters of Union Minister and party's strongman in the south M K Alagiri, for not attending a public meeting, convened here by his younger brother M K Stalin.

They have been asked to submit their explanation within a week's time for not attending the April 14 meeting, which was organised to condemn the recent power tariff hike in the state, announced recently by ruling AIADMK, a party source said.
Stalin reportedly said if action was not taken those who boycotted the meeting, he would step down as party treasurer, the party source said.

Against this backdrop, showcause notices were issued on Thursday to the 17, all party office bearers in Madurai, which is Alagiri's home turf. Alagiri, the second son of DMK President M Karunanidhi, is said to have been instrumental in broadening DMK's base in south Tamil Nadu, once considered an AIADMK bastion.

The succession war always dominated the party affairs with Alagiri, considered party's strongman in the south, opposing any change in party leadership. Alagiri had openly said in the past, if a need arose, he would contest for the party leadership.

After the party's general council meet in February, Karunanidhi, to a query on a report that his son Stalin was a preferred choice as his successor, had quipped: "would I not be proud if my son gets such a honour".  However, he ruled out a change in party leadership, saying the process would take at least a year.

"Elections should be held at the local levels whose representatives later choose the general secretary and the President," he had said.