DMK working president M.K. Stalin, who scored a major victory against the AIADMK government on Wednesday morning after the Madras High Court allowed the burial of party leader M. Karunanidhi on the Marina, has more challenges ahead.
He has been functioning as the DMK working president since January 2017 and will soon step into his father’s shoes as the party president.
Though his ‘to-do’ list might include a range of things including writing for the party organ Murasoli to spell out the party’s line on various issues, there are some who argue that he cannot afford to lose focus by multitasking.
Dravidar Iyakka Tamilar Peravai general secretary Suba. Veerapandian said in the fast-changing political scenario, Mr. Stalin should focus on strengthening the organisation on ideological lines. “No one expects him to write poetry or dialogues for cinema (unlike his father). The requirements are different now. The DMK, so far, is engaged in a fight with those who pretend to be the enemy of the party. Now, it has to face real enemies who have gained ground in Tamil Nadu. You cannot underestimate the BJP, which has the power and money,” he said.
Mr. Veerapandian also wanted Mr. Stalin to field DMK candidates in constituencies where the party had not contested in many elections. “This effort will rejuvenate DMK leaders who were denied an opportunity to contest elections and will expand the party base,” he said.
Though he has consolidated his position as a leader, Mr. Stalin is under compulsion to maintain a cordial relationship with his estranged elder brother M.K. Alagiri, who is the only one who refuses to rally behind him.
“I do not think Mr. Alagiri would pose any challenge and he would have realised that the party is in the control of Mr. Stalin,” Mr. Veerapandian said.
A leader very close to Mr. Stalin said he maintained his equanimity after Karunanidhi’s death.
“The way he handled the situation after the government denied permission to bury our leader at Marina is worth mentioning. He won the case and it points to the emergence of a new leader in him,” he said.