Karuna Re-elected As DMK Chief for the 11th Time

Karuna Re-elected As DMK Chief for the 11th Time

Ninety-year-old DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi was today unanimously re-elected as president for the 11th time at the party's general council, asserting his unquestioned supremacy in the party.

The elevation of Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, the DMK chief's daughter, as secretary of the Women's wing, unanimous re-election of Anbazhagan and M K Stalin as general secretary and treasurer respectively also reaffirmed that Karunanidhi continued to call the shots in the party.

Days ahead of the elections, Stalin, Karunanidhi's son, dismissed reports as malicious in sections of media that he was not allowed to contest for the post of general secretary and that he had offered to quit as treasurer.

It is, however, true that Stalin's supporters want him to climb the organisational ladder and steer the party.

However, Karunanidhi's deft handling made sure that Anbazhagan, long time peer and party veteran continued to be number two and Stalin number three in the party organisation.

While Anbazhagan is general secretary since 1977, Stalin has been re-elected as treasurer for the second time.

The DMK chief also met the expectations of Kanimozhi's supporters by elevating her as Women's Wing Secretary.

The general council meet made it clear that the party is gearing up to vigorously take on the ruling AIADMK to make a come back after electoral drubbings in polls for State Assembly in 2011 and Lok Sabha last year.

The party is trying to corner the AIADMK on issues including law and order, price rise and handling of inter-state river disputes.

DMK has also upped its ante against the BJP at the Centre terming it as communal and asked all political parties to bury their differences and fight the saffron party.

"We will not allow the BJP to gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu," Karunanidhi said, adding the party was trying to hoodwink people in the state through its communal politics.

In its renewed bid to make an electoral comeback, the party has addressed several intra-party issues and revamped the party structure.

Expansion of district units to 65 from 35 and introduction of a new layer of party units at town panchayats level, an intermediary stratum between branch and union were features of the party's organisational revamp.

The 14th organisational elections of the DMK in a sense came as a morale booster for party cadres as about 85 lakh party men participated actively in the polls though there were instances of dissent and revolt.

Many youths were elected to party posts.

Karunanidhi had during the Lok Sabha poll campaign last year indicated that it could be his last electoral campaign and the re-election is significant for him as he is now tasked with the responsibility of steering the party for the next five years.

The DMK chief was first elected as president on July 27, 1969 after the demise of DMK founder C N Annadurai and since then he continues to steer the party.

Another highlight of DMK's general council meet today was the rather harsh tone of Karunanidhi against the BJP something he refrained doing so far although he had criticised it on issues like Hindutva.

"BJP which has assumed power at the Centre is well-versed in deceptive tricks more than AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa," he said, adding, "we should not get deceived by them."

DMK chief's harsh attack comes against the backdrop of the recent defection of former Union Minister D Napoleon, a loyalist of expelled leader M K Alagiri, to the BJP.

Stating that BJP had underrated his party, Karunanidhi said,"they thought that they could triumph us and devised plans which became well-known and realised that it was not possible."

Also, against the background of BJP's new found assertiveness in Tamil Nadu to "capture power," Karunanidhi, in a lighter vein, said "those who had come from somewhere with huge advertisement backing feel that the DMK could be trounced."

"Let me be open. BJP is firmly in saddle. Work to deceive the people of Tamil Nadu is also on in its regime," he added.

He also harped on his cherished themes of self-respect, and the importance of protecting the Tamil language.

Giving ample indications that the party was quite serious in making a comeback, DMK top leader Stalin warned that functionaries, who do not perform, will face the music.

"If functionaries do not show good performance, they will be eased out and new party men will be appointed in their place," he said, adding, such action will be initiated after review by top office bearers in districts.

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