news Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 05:30
Sameera Ahmed | The News Minute | January 9, 2015 | 01.20 pm IST The men who have been controlling the three most important positions within the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam(DMK) will continue to do after an intra-party election in Chennai that raised no eyebrows. The big surprise surrounding the elections is that there is actually no surprise despite all the feelers doing the rounds about Stalin wanting a change in leadership hierarchy. While DMK chief M Karunanidhi was re-elected to the post of Party president for the 11th time in a row at the general council meeting held on January 9, his second and third in-line, K Anbazhagan and MK Stalin, his son, were re-elected to the posts of General Secretary and Treasurer respectively. With nearly 65 district secretaries nominating the three leaders for the respective posts on 6th and 7th of January at the party headquarters, Anna Arivalayam, many came in bringing music troupes as they announced their arrival for the nominations. However, the backdrop to the recent elections has been quite interesting. A few days ahead of the nominations for the party elections, rumours were floated that party treasure MK Stalin had decided to resign from the treasurer ’s post, unhappy that he had not been given a chance to be elevated to the post of General Secretary. Reacting to news that his resignation was pure “speculation”, he had said that he will work for the party without any expectations of party posts. That Stalin was indeed, the heir to the DMK regime was reasserted after his elevation from the post of deputy general secretary to the post of treasurer in 2008, However, the new developments (or rather, a lack in developments ) may have caused discontent in the Stalin camp, for a few reasons. The general council elections are carried out every five years. Another five years down the line, Stalin will turn 66, while his father Karunanidhi will touch the 95 mark. For the 90-year old veteran who took to politics at the age of 14 in Tiruvarur during the first anti-hindi agitations in the year 1938, according to The Hindu, the political struggle has been long and hard. The slightly older K Anbazhagan aged 92 was re-elected to his post as General Secretary for the 10th time this year. Kalyanasundaram Anbazhagan - he might not be a part of the original Karunaidhii family which has taken complete control of the DMK party in Tamil Nadu, but this nonagenarian leader remains the only one of two leaders remaining from those present at the DMK’s launch in Royapuram in 1949,according to The Hindu. (the other being Karunanidhi himself)                                                                                                                      Picture courtesy: The Hindu Anbazhagan took on the general secretary post in 1977. Ever since the the leader has been retaining the second-most important position within the party. The past has been witness to how much these leaders intend to stick on to their party positions. In August 2014, the DMK suspended its organising secretary PV Kalyanasundara for demanding that its secretary MK Stalin be made the party’s CM candidate in the upcoming elections. A Stalin-loyalist, Kalyanasundaram was suspended after an announcement by general secretary K Anbazhagan for flouting party discipline, reported Hindustan Times. During this period, a number of Stalin supporters were edging for a move to name him as the the CM candidate. Shout out for democracy The party has diligently held elections within its organisation. However, according to Napolean, a senior DMK leader who jumped on to the BJP bandwagon along with nearly 500 other DMK cadre, there was no democracy within the party. "I did not like DMK's functioning. There was no intra-party democracy. The party elections were not conducted the way they should be. The cadres used to follow the instructions of the leadership without any groupism. Now the culture has changed," he said when BJP President Amit Shah had made a visit to Tamil Nadu. Even last year, expelled son, Alagiri had alleged no democracy within the party after his suspension.  For now, however, the stage is set. Stalin, albeit the favourite son, will have to wait for his turn at his shot at the crown position within the party. With the upcoming 2016 Assembly elections, the DMK will need to refocus from its issues within the party and concentrate on bigger strategies to reach for a victory. For Stalin, the wait will be long and he is not getting any younger.  But victory comes to those who wait, and success becomes sweeter, the more delayed.  Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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