M K Alagiri, the estranged son of former Chief Minister and DMK president the late M Karunanidhi, declared on Sunday his decision to contest the by-poll from Thiruvarur Assembly constituency.
Thiruvarur has been represented by the late Karunanidhi since 2011 and is known as a stronghold of the Karunanidhi family.
Alagiri was expelled from the party in early 2014 for anti-party activities and has been keeping a low profile since then. Early this month, he had held a rally at Chennai to offer floral tributes to his late father and had drawn thousands of followers.
He has been demanding the DMK leadership to reinstate him and his followers in the party. But M K Stalin, his younger brother who is the new president of the party has been stonewalling his efforts to get back into the party.
Addressing his followers at Thiruvarur on Sunday, Alagiri said he would like to contest the bypoll on the Rising Sun symbol of the DMK. “I’ll ask the DMK leadership to field me as a party candidate. If they refuse, I’ll contest the by-poll as the son of Karunanidhi,” declared Alagiri.
The announcement is sure to rattle the DMK leadership because Alagiri is certain to eat into the DMK votes. “What is interesting is that Alagiri is a specialist in winning elections. Whenever he had stayed away from the DMK, the party had lost the elections,” said Raveedran Thuraiswamy political commentator with specialisation in DMK politics.
He said Thiruvarur is a personal fiefdom of the Karunanidhi clan and Alagiri has an upper hand in the region. “The DMK had lost the 2011 and 2016 assembly elections and the 2014 Lok Sabha election because of the absence of Alagiri. Stalin will find it difficult to lead the DMK to an electoral victory without Alagiri’s cooperation,” said Thuraiswamy. TN will soon have two by-polls- in Thiruparankundram and Thiruvarur assembly constituencies. The Thiruparankundram seat was held by the AIADMK. Both the AIADMK and the DMK face the possibilities of rebel candidates in these constituencies as TTV Dhinakaran of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhakam too would field his loyalists to take on the ruling AIADMK.