The expelled DMK leader and elder son of DMK Patriarch Karunanidhi, M K Alagiri, will be hosting his rally in Chennai on Wednesday. Ahead of his rally, he exclusively spoke to Republic TV and said that the rally is a homage to his father, however, within the political circle, it is touted as a show of strength by his supporters. MK Alagiri was introduced to the world of politics at the age of eleven. Looking back at his political journey so far, he said:
"My political journey means...It began in at the age of 11 in Tanjore constituency when Congress candidate Parishudha Nadar was contesting. At the same time, our entire family was staying and campaigning there. We stayed in the house of Kalaignar's friend Thangamuthu. All of us stayed at his place. We would observe how our father was doing groundwork right from that time. That's how my political life started".
"There are too many memories. When we were young, Annadurai used to come to our house often. Anna used to ask me and my elder brother MK Muthu to sing songs. He would ask us to dance. Anna used to ask us to come to Kanchipuram. Once a week, he used to take us to the cinema for the night show. He was very affectionate towards us. He also played games with us like, carrom, cards and cricket".
"Thirumangalam formula is practiced throughout India. They are wrongly depicting it. They are saying that it is all about money, which is not the case. since 1962, along with my father, I have seen many elections. I witnessed Saidapet elections. in 1971, when Duraimurugan stood in Katpadi constituency, I worked for him and he won by 17000 votes. in 1971, he got married. My father conducted the marriage. MGR was the chief guest. I was one of the reasons for that victory because I helped him win, during the marriage event Duraimurugan presented a ring to me through MGR. Since then we have won many elections. I learnt the Thirumangalam election formula from my father. In 1962, I saw him do election work, in 1967, I worked for him, and I have seen many elections. During the elections, my father never used to sleep in the night. He was fully immersed in the election process. During election time, he used to take me along at late nights, after 10 pm we used to go to booths, we would together meet the party workers. in a day, three to four times we would meet party workers at the booths. This is what is the Thirumangalam formula".
"There are no intentions. It is a homage to my father. My cadres requested me to lead a rally as a mark of respect to my father. Therefore I decided to do a rally. There are no hidden intentions", he said
Smashing the allegation of a political motive behind this rally, he added, "This has got nothing to do with politics".
"I have no expectations. this party DMK was created by Annadurai and was protected by my father. I want to carry on their good work. I don't have any other expectations. even when my father was alive, I have not sought any posts. he has only offered me posts based on my good work. I have never asked him anything", he said.
"You see the rally outcome and decide for yourself. Presently, there is a huge gap between the leadership and the cadres. I am saying this based on that. from various quarters I am getting support and feedback from the party cadres that I would be able to strengthen the party and make it win. I know that the cadres love me. After the rally you will get to know the reality".
"The general council was not set up in accordance to the prescribed guidelines. That is my allegation. The general council members have not been elected democratically. I have already raised these and many other issues with my father", he revealed.
"I have already clarified this. If I am inducted into the party I will obviously have to accept his leadership. Media has misquoted me by saying that I was ready to accept his leadership. I actually told the media that if I am taken into the party then i have to accept his leadership. If I am not inducted then how can I accept his leadership?", he said.
When asked about his statement 'If you are not inducted into the DMK, then the party will have to face the consequences', he said that:
"I did not say that. I am not talking about big consequences. They will face defeat in elections. After removing me from the party, the party in the past faced many defeats. That will continue".
MK Alagiri on MK Stalin's leadership:
"If he was a good leader he would not have lost his deposit in RK Nagar. Cadres only did not accept him. In earlier election, the DMK candidate who contested against Jayalalithaa could win 57000 votes. Stalin could not get that much votes also. What happened to those votes? When they were asked what happened to the party vote bank, Duraimurugan who is the current party treasurer himself said that the party cadre had eaten money and swallowed the votes. They have not removed Duraimurugan from the party and have in fact removed me", he said.
"I raised many allegations against their functioning. They have taken names from the electoral rolls and shown it as if those are the cadres who have enrolled into the party. I showed this to my father. Even before the party election could be conducted, people declared themselves as having won and had their posters printed. I showed this also to my father. at that time my father enquired about this. there was a person called kalyanasundaram, my father called him and asked him. he said that it will be rectified and then I had gone out of the station. by the time I could return, they removed two of my close confidantes. that's how the problems started", he said while alleging a controversy.
"They are saying that Karunanidhi had removed me so he only should have reinstated me. But the same people who were removed by my father have been reinstated now by the present leadership. 4 to 5 days ago one person called Karuppuswamy Pandian and an ex-minister Mullaivendhan have been reinstated. They were earlier removed by Kalaignar Karunanidhi. If they can reinstate those people who were removed by Karunanidhi then what is the problem in reinstating me. They alone can answer it", he added.
"In 2014 itself, we spoke. He said, let this election get over, be patient. But I cannot divulge the entire details of the conversation right now. Whenever the time comes, I will reveal the details. In the last couple of days, we used to meet and talk, but we didn't talk about politics and party. in 2016, during elections he fell ill, after that, I didn't think it right to talk about the party. When he was healthy, he used to tell me to wait and that he will induct me into the party. My father has only said that it is only a temporary removal", he said.
"I have never worked against the interest of the party. when I was removed from the party, some people from other parties came and met me... like H Raja, Vaiko also met me when he was planning to contest from Virudhunagar, he only came. He saw me at the airport and met me at my house. Since Vaiko met me, they removed me. But today that same Vaiko is with them. That same Vaiko is now challenging that he will make Stalin the chief minister. When Karunanidhi was ill, they conspired against me and they compelled him and sent me out of the party. That is the truth".
"We cannot take any decision right away. After the rally, we will gather and consult the real cadres of the party and jointly take a decision about the future course. I cannot take any unilateral decision. I have no intentions as of now to start a new party".
"I don't have much acquaintance with Rahul Gandhi, but yes I am very close to Sonia Gandhi. She treated me like her son Rahul. Even Manmohan Singh never treated me like a cabinet minister but he treated me like his son. When I went to give my resignation letter to Manmohan Singh, there were tears in his eyes. He considered Karunanidhi as his father. He cried by saying that now we are separating. That's how close we were".
"When my father passed away, his last wish was to get a burial next to Anna's Samadhi. When Anna died, my father had even mentioned about this in his tribute to Anna. Then it was decided that we will send somebody from the party. At that time during a discussion between Kanimozhi, my son and I, I told Kanimozhi that let us not send anyone from our party. it is our father, therefore all 5 of us, his children, Kanimozhi, myself, Stalin, Tamizharasu and Selvi should ask the chief minister. It was me who suggested that. I only initiated it. Then Tamizharasu and my sister Selvi did not accompany us. and the remaining three of us went and met the CM", he said.
"These two posts of Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer. Let him touch his conscience and ask who got him the posts. I am not saying that. Let him ask his own conscience who got him that. His conscience knows it all. That sums up everything", MK Alagiri said.
"In 2014 during the candidate selection, Stalin sidelined Karunanidhi and took many decisions. During parliament elections, many candidates who had no connection with the party were made to contest. For example, In Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Nellai, in these three places they got in candidates who had no connection whatsoever with the party. All this was devised by Stalin. In 2016, during assembly elections, many candidates who were suggested by Karunanidhi were never selected and they chose their own candidates. They got in losing candidates. So, Karunanidhi was very unhappy", he added.
"The Cadre is demoralised mainly because the party is being run like a corporate house. Party should be run like a political party, because of this there is a huge gap between the cadres and the leadership. There are many evidences but it will be revealed at the opportune time", he concluded.