The Tamil magazine Junior Vikaran had published an article titled 'Dravida Munnetra Company' and alleged that the DMK was run by Durga Stalin, Udayanidhi Stalin and her son-in-law Sabareesan.

MK Stalins wife Durga threatens to sue Vikatan Wants apology Rs 10 cr in damages
news Controversy Friday, July 26, 2019 - 13:08

Durga Stalin, wife of DMK President and Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu MK Stalin, has sued Ananda Vikatan over a 'defamatory' article in their Tamil magazine Junior Vikatan. On July 24, the bi-weekly magazine published an article titled ‘Mister Kazhugu: Dravida Munnetra Company’, alleging that the DMK and its affairs were being controlled by MK Stalin’s family. In particular, the cover page of the article featured Stalin’s son and the party’s youth wing secretary, Udayanidhi Stalin, Stalin’s wife Durga and Stalin’s son-in-law Sabareesan, and named them Managing Director, Director and CEO of the ‘company’ that is DMK, respectively. 

Vehemently denying the allegations, a legal notice sent on behalf of Durga Stalin calls the article 'entirely false, misleading, malicious and highly defamatory'. It also threatens legal action against the publishers and editors of the magazine if they do not tender an unconditional public apology, retract the article, pay Rs 10 crores within 48 hours (to be used for charitable purposes) and disclose the source for the article. Calling the publication of the article a ‘nefarious scheme to tarnish and scandalise’ Durga Stalin, the legal notice also threatens action under Indian Penal Code Sections 499 (Defamation), 500 (Punishment for defamation), 501 (Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) and 502 (Sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter).

The headline of the article has been derived from one of the party leaders’ alleged complaint— as mentioned in the article— to his supporters that the party has come to be controlled by the trio. The article has been written speculatively in the popular ‘Mister Kazhagu’ series who presents ‘source-based’ information to the readers in a question and answer format. 

Durga Stalin further contends that the publishers and editors did not 'follow the rudimentary principles to verify the veracity of the article being published.' “[Durga Stalin] and her son-in-law are not even part of the political party headed by [MK Stalin].” states the notice.

The article alludes to the internal party politics within the DMK and says that discontentment is brewing among second-rung leaders of the party about how important decisions are reportedly made by Durga, Sabareesan and Udayanidhi. Citing the recent elevation in the party of Udayanidhi Stalin as youth wing secretary, the article goes so far as to allege that party chief MK Stalin has little say in these decisions and merely ‘announces’ them. The article also implies that Stalin's close aides report to Durga Stalin about every person he meets. 

Quoting the alleged complaint of a former Minister and senior party leader from the southern districts, the article says, "The party has been more or less changed into a company. Durga Stalin - Company Director. Sabareesan - Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Udayanidhi - Managing Director of the Company." Of Stalin, the article alleges that he no longer takes meetings in his chambers at the Arivalayam, the party headquarters in Chennai's Teynampet.

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