MK Alagiri, son of late Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi, said on Monday that he was contemplating launching his own political party ahead of the Assembly elections in the state next year, NDTV reported.
“I am holding talks with my supporters,” Alagiri told the channel. “We are discussing if we have to launch our own party or should we just declare our support to a party.”
Politics in Tamil Nadu has been shaped around two decades of sibling rivalry between Karunanidhi’s two sons – Alagiri and MK Stalin. Alagiri had been expelled from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam ahead of the 2014 parliamentary elections after he made derogatory remarks about his brother.
Reports suggest that Alagiri is likely to side with the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has been actively pursuing the politician in order to give shape to a broader political front in the state. Unidentified officials from the BJP state unit and the Alagiri camp told The Indian Express that there has been significant progress in talks about a possible alliance.
If everything goes as per the BJP’s plans, Alagiri is also likely to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah on November 21, during the BJP leader’s visit to Chennai, according to News18.
“It is likely to be a one-to-one meeting,” an unidentified BJP leader told The Indian Express about the prospects of the meeting. “If there is no change in Shah’s planned visit to Chennai, the idea is to announce the new party in Madurai in the presence of about 100-200 close aides of Alagiri. And Alagiri may be meeting Shah the next day.”
However, Alagiri personally denied there has been any headway in talks with the BJP, saying there was “nothing of that sort” happening right now. He also rubbished reports of him meeting Shah. “Those are cooked up stories,” he told NDTV. “No one from the BJP has spoken to me. Why would the home minister meet me?”
The politician added that even though he was thinking about floating his own political outfit, he had no immediate plans of doing the same. “I will let you know,” he told News18. “I haven’t spoken to my loyalists in the last six months, not even during Diwali. There is still time for it.”
Unidentified officials told The Indian Express that Alagiri’s new political outfit may be called “Kalaignar DMK” or “KDMK”. Alagiri’s son Dayanidhi may also back the new party. “Like Stalin’s son Udayanidhi who heads the DMK youth wing, let Dayanidhi also assume the same position in KDMK,” an aide of Alagiri told the newspaper.
However, Dayanidhi also dismissed reports and said the speculation about a new party was false. When asked whether the BJP was holding talks with his father, he told News18 he was not aware of such meetings.
Meanwhile, officials from the DMK said they were unperturbed about an alliance between Alagiri and the BJP and that it would have a “zero impact” on Tamil Nadu politics, adding that Stalin was aware of the developments.
“Let him go to BJP,” an unidentified DMK leader told The Indian Express. “Alagiri was nowhere in the picture for six years. He has no constituency, no supporters and no money. It makes no impact in Tamil Nadu politics except headlines for a day or two.”