Monday, March 17, 2014

DMK chief Karunanidhi's estranged son Alagiri meets PM, terms it a courtesy call

DMK chief M Karunanidhi's estranged son and former Union chemicals minister M K Alagiri met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Thursday morning, sparking apprehension in DMK circle. Alagiri's visit that was kept under wraps till the last moment is seen as yet another sign of defiance of the Madurai strongman as it comes after the DMK spurned requests from the Congress for an alliance in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The meeting set the social media buzz with speculations that he might launch a separate party.However, Alagiri downplayed the meeting with Manmohan Singh stating that he met him to urge him to name Madurai airport after Muthuramalinga Thevar. Muthuramalinga Thevar, a demi god of the influential Thevar community in Madurai and south Tamil Nadu, is invoked by all parties to woo the sizeable voters from the backward community. "It was a courtesy call. We did not discuss politics at all,'' he told TOI over phone from New Delhi when asked whether he had promised support for Congress candidates in the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu. "I thanked him for the support he extended to me during my tenure as the Union minister. I told him that with his support and guidance I had contributed a lot to Tamil Nadu and the country through his ministry,'' Alagiri said. Alagiri was upset with his father Karunanidhi and brother M K Stalin ever since he and his supporters were sidelined from the party. He was suspended from the post of south zone organising secretary of the DMK, a post that helped him wield influence over southern part of the state. His disgruntlement with Karunanidhi and Stalin multiplied after the DMK released the list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. The list only had the names of Stalin's supporters. Alagiri is unlikely to campaign for the DMK, even as the candidate for Madurai constituency V Velusamy has said that he would seek the support of Alagiri. Alagiria has categorically said that he would not compromise until the suspension of his supporters is revoked. He is expected to return to Madurai on March 16, when he is likely to make his plans clear.

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