Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Working President MK Stalin on Wednesday told party workers that the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre was “sowing communalism”. He said his political rivals were more concerned than party workers themselves about what was happening in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam following the death of his father and party chief M Karunanidhi.

Karunanidhi, who was the president of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for 49 years, died on August 7. The DMK’s general council is expected to formally elect Stalin its next president, party officials had told Scroll.in.

“The central rulers [BJP] are sowing communalism and snatching away the state’s rights,” Stalin wrote in a letter to party workers. “Political rivals are showing more concern than us to know what is happening in our party in the wake of Thalaivar’s [Karunanidhi] loss.”

Rivals are hoping that they can make a “mountain out of a molehill”, he added. Stalin also claimed that Tamil Nadu had done well under the DMK’s rule but the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had left the state in shambles.

Stalin added that he will not be intimidated by anyone and promised to beat all challenges ahead of him. “I was raised by Kalaignar, [I] will not be cowed down by [any] flutter,” he said. “I will overcome any challenges being created from within and outside the party with the help of the dear supporters of Kalaignar.” The late Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam patriarch was commonly known as Kalaignar, or artist.

At an executive committee meeting of the party convened in Chennai on Tuesday to condole the death of Karunanidhi, Stalin said he will follow in the footsteps of his late father to defeat all barriers. “While you workers have lost your leader, I have lost my mentor and father,” he said.

Stalin’s comments came amid talks of a succession battle with elder brother MK Alagiri who on Monday claimed that all the “loyal cadre” of Karunanidhi are on his side. Alagiri was the party’s south zone organising secretary, but was expelled in 2014 for making derogatory statements about Stalin.