Alagiri plans to play a crucial role in 2021 Tamil Nadu polls

Alagiri plans to play a crucial role in 2021 Tamil Nadu polls

A day after news reports about one of the central investigative agencies sending summons to M.K. Alagiri to appear for interrogation in an old case emerged, the expelled DMK leader said that he would spell out his political plans soon. 

Alagiri, the former Union minister of chemicals and fertilisers and the DMK’s former south zone organising secretary, on Tuesday said he will definitely play a crucial role in the 2021 Tamil Nadu assembly polls. 

“You will know in the coming days. I will consult my supporters before making any good decision. I will certainly play a role in the assembly elections,” Alagiri told the media, when asked about his plans. Apparently, there have been several reports that Alagiri is planning to launch his own party and align with the BJP ahead of the assembly polls. 

There were unconfirmed news reports that Alagiri would call on Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his visit to Tamil Nadu on November 21. Though Alagiri did not meet Shah, he had not dismissed the news reports then.

When reporters sought clarification on the DMK offering plum posts to him and his son Dayanidhi Alagiri, he said: “All these are rumors. People said I would be meeting Amit Shah. But did I meet him?”. 

Alagiri was expelled from the primary membership of the party in 2014 by his late father and DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi. The Stalin-Alagiri power tussle was at the peak then and Karunanidhi chose to anoint Stalin as his political heir. 

Since then Alagiri has been living in Madurai. In 2016 and 2019, close to the polls, Alagiri came out of the blue to say that the DMK would lose badly to the AIADMK. In fact in 2016, in many of the constituencies in South Tamil Nadu, Alagiri’s voice dealt a blow to the DMK’s vote bank. But in 2019, the DMK consolidated its vote bank. 

Of late, Alagiri, who is known as the Madurai strongman, seems to have lost his strength in his own fiefdom. In 2018, soon after the death of Karunanidhi, the procession called by Alalgiri in Chennai to show his strength did not prove successful. 

Alagiri’s supporters, whom late former chief minister Jayalalithaa once called as his “henchmen”, have either left him to join his brother M.K. Stalin or have died. His staunch supporters like Pottu Suresh and Attack Pandi are not there with him anymore. Sources in the DMK in Madurai said that a former DMK MLA and a couple of functionaries who do not have support base in the party are with him currently. 

“Any leader can exist only if he is active in politics. Alagiri, after 2014, has not been active on the ground. He has not met any of our partymen in the last few years in Madurai,” said a senior DMK functionary from Madurai, who was once with Alagiri, on condition of anonymity. 

Sources in the DMK feel that any effort by Alagiri cannot spoil the fortunes of the party in the upcoming elections. 

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