Chennai: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) treasurer and son of party chief M. Karunanidhi, M. K. Stalin, was unanimously elected as the working president of the party on Wednesday. According to the Hindustan Times, the decision to promote him was announced at a general council meeting in Chennai chaired by senior leader K. Anbazhagan.
Stalin’s elevation – news of which has been doing the rounds for a while – comes as the health of party supremo, 93-year-old Karunanidhi, has been steadily deteriorating over the past few months, Scroll reported.
Given Karunanidhi’s bouts of ill-health, there has been a growing clamour within the party for Stalin’s promotion. According to Hindustan Times, the DMK patriarch had even declared Stalin as his political heir in a recent interview to a Tamil magazine as “he had proven himself as a leader of the party.”
The general council on Wednesday, which was attended by nearly 3,000 members, was previously scheduled for December 20 but was postponed after Karunanidhi was hospitalised due to breathing problems caused by a lung and throat infection.
According to Deccan Chronicle, Stalin, 63, will continue as DMK’s treasurer and will be in complete charge even as his father remains the president.
“I did not get any post because of family. I fought elections and won… It is a big responsibility and I accept the post at this juncture,” Stalin said as his promotion was announced at the DMK headquarters in Chennai.
The move comes just days after the ruling AIADMK elected Sasikala Natarajan as the party’s general secretary following the death of J. Jayalalithaa on December 5.
According to Scroll, besides appointing Stalin as working president, several resolutions were passed by the DMK at the general council meeting, including urging the BJP government at the Centre to revoke the ban on jallikattu and asking Sri Lanka to immediately release the arrested Tamil fishermen and their boats.