Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam treasurer MK Stalin was named the party’s working president on Wednesday. The decision to promote him was made at a DMK general council meeting in Chennai.
The health of Stalin’s father, party chief M Karunanidhi, has been steadily deteriorating over the past few months. The general council meeting, previously scheduled for December 20, was postponed after Karunanidhi was hospitalised for breathing problems caused by a lung and throat infection.
Stalin, 63, is the leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. His appointment as DMK working president follows a change in dynamics in the state’s ruling party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. J Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala Natarajan took charge as the AIADMK general secretary on December 31, after the former chief minister died on December 5. There have been growing calls for Natarajan to take over as Tamil Nadu chief minister from Jayalalithaa’s successor, O Panneerselvam.
At the genera council meeting, DMK passed a number of resolutions, including one urging the Centre to revoke the ban on jallikattu and another asking Sri Lanka to immediately release arrested Tamil fishermen and their boats. Among other resolutions was one against demonetisation, in which the party called on the government to alleviate people’s hardship.