Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M K Stalin has readmitted into the party two district leaders, but has not reacted to his estranged brother Azhagiri’s plea to let him in.
Azhagiri, who was sent out of the party four years ago, said after the death of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi that he would lead a silent march to his memorial with his supporters in what is seen as a show of strength. He said this after Stalin’s elevation as DMK president.
However, he has since said he is ready to accept Stalin’s leadership if readmitted. He has even said he does not want any post. Despite the climbdown, Stalin has ignored Azhagiri fully aware that he can sabotage DMK’s chances in the by-election in Tiruparankundran near Madurai which is an AIADMK held seat.
On the other hand, he has readmitted former Minister V Mullaivendhan and former legislator V Karuppasamy Pandian which is seen as a move to preempt Azhagiri from poaching on disgruntled former DMK men.
Mullaivendhan was Information Minister in the DMK Ministry and MLA in 1989, 1996 and 2006. He was also Dharmapuri district secretary. He was expelled from the party in 2014 when he blamed the high command for the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections. Thereupon, he joined actor Vijayakanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam in 2015. Now he is back in the DMK fold.
Like Mullaivendhan, Karupppasamy is also a three-time MLA and a party hopper. He was Tirunelveli district secretary of the AIDMK since its inception. After MGR’s death, he turned loyal to J Jayalalitha.
However, he joined the DMK in 2000 after he was sidelined by Jayalalitha. He was expelled from the DMK in 2015 for questioning the bifurcation of the Tirunelveli district in what he saw as a move to clip his wings. He returned to the AIADMK only to quit a year later after the passing of Jayalalitha in December 2016.
Azhagiri, who once held the powerful post of the southern district organising secretary of the DMK, did not float any party after he was expelled for refusing to accept Stalin as successor to Karunanidhi.