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What began as a condolence meeting for DMK president M Karunanidhi at party headquarters, Anna Arivalayam, on August 14, 2018, ended up as a show of strength by working president and Karunandhi’s son M K Stalin, indicating that the party was almost fully behind him, while his estranged brother M K Alagiri seems to have been marginalized.

Yesterday, Alagiri, in an outburst, claimed that all Karunanidhi loyalists were with him, and that he would indicate future course of action in two or three days. However, today’s turnout at Arivalayam, where all the party functionaries, district secretaries and party stalwarts were present at the executive committee meeting attended by over 1,500 persons, exposed Alagiri’s claim as a tall one.

A condolence resolution was adopted unanimously, party general secretary K Anbazhagan was present throughout the meeting though unable to speak, and party functionaries turned up at Arivalayam to show that they were fully behind Stalin whose ascension to the post of president is now just a formality.

Stalin would be elected president at the party’s general council meeting to be held in a few days.

At one time, Alalgiri had the solid support of several district secretaries besides MPs and MLAs, especially from southern Tamil Nadu when he was the South Zone co-ordinator of the party. However, Stalin through intensive tours of the districts, has won over several Alagiri loyalists to his side, and today Alagiri has only a limited following.

The party has been purged of Alagiri followers, and the Stalin domination is complete.

At today’s condolence meeting, Stalin cleverly used the emotional appeal of Karunanidhi’s death and the denial of a burial spot next to that of C N Annadurai on the Marina for Karunanidhi, and the subsequent legal victory over the AIADMK, launched at midnight. He urged partymen to remain united and to work for the causes which Karunanidhi held dear. His message was directed at the party functionaries, and the target seemed to have been achieved, judged by the overwhelming response.

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