Why is Stalin not even hinting anymore that he is wants to be DMK's CM candidate?

A mature MK Stalin changing track Maintains Karunanidhi is CM candidate
Voices Sunday, August 23, 2015 - 13:30

In the run up to the 2016 Assembly elections, the anti-liquor campaign in Tamil Nadu is being kept alive by political parties. While it is yet to be seen how this will impact the vote count, a statement by DMK leader MK Stalin at the ‘Liquor Eradication Conference’ has grabbed some attention. TNIE reports that Stalin announced that patriarch Karunanidhi will be the CM candidate.

TNIE’s headline – ‘Stalin opts out of race, says MK is party’s choice for CM’ – some would say is bombastic, for he has made similar announcements in his speeches on previous occasions. Party insiders maintain that Stalin is still in the run for the CM post, what has changed in the past few months, is how he talks about it.

Members in the Stalin camp tell The News Minute that Stalin is itching to be announced the CM candidate – he is touring the state, he is building his arsenal and strategizing on plausible political alliances which will work for him.  So why then say repeatedly that Karunanidhi is the CM candidate?

It is because saying otherwise has not really worked for him.

We are seeing a smarter and more politically savvy Stalin now. He has understood that the announcement of his CM-candidacy is an eventuality, and it is a matter of when, not if. In such a scenario, it would be apt for him to not show any desperation and maintain an image of party discipline. In the past, whenever he hinted at his succession, there were either denials issued by senior party members, or Karunanidhi himself, leaving him looking like a desperate political scion petulantly fighting for the position.

By repeatedly uttering in public domain that it is Karunanidhi, and not him who is the CM candidate – he is laying the path for a smooth transition of power to the next generation. It will not be a confrontation, but a peaceful changeover. This will ensure there are no naysayers and enthuse party workers further.  Stalin also seems to be wary of rattling Karunanidhi's own ambitions and is nudging him to make way, sending gentle reminders.

The question really is when the announcement will be made.

Party insiders say that the ideal timing would be towards the end of this year. In late September, Stalin is starting a massive campaign across Tamil Nadu from Kaniyakumari which will go on for several weeks. Perhaps it will be after that campaign schedule that the announcement of his CM candidacy will be made.

Even so, one cannot also discount the possibility that Karunanidhi himself might be ambitious as those close to him say becoming a Chief Minister again is something the nonagenarian would not mind.  

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