Chennai: Days after hinting that M.K. Stalin would lead the party after him, DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday went one step ahead saying he will propose 'only' his youngest son's name if he gets an opportunity.
He said the DMK is a democratic party. "If anyone is to become its president or general secretary it has to be proposed in the party's general council," Karunanidhi told reporters here.
"If I get an opportunity to propose somebody as an individual, I will only propose Stalin (for President post). Because, he was already proposed by party general secretary K. Anbhazhagan which means I endorsed it," he said.
The DMK supremo saw nothing wrong in Stalin becoming his successor. A reporter pointed out that the DMK chief was leaning towards his youngest son Stalin as the successor. For which Karunanidhi responded: "When you ask me like that what is wrong if I say so? Can't Stalin become (President)? Is he not a member of DMK? It will only irritate those who prevent Stalin becoming the President."
Last week, in the clearest-ever hint, Karunanidhi had indicated that Stalin would be the successor in the party after him.
After chairing the district secretaries meeting at party headquarters on Sunday, Karunanidhi accused a section of the media for jumping the gun.
"Media misconstrued my comments saying Stalin will become the party chief. I had only said he will continue my social work. If anybody believes that mischief and reacted to that it will only show their ignorance," he said on Alagiri's comment.
To a question whether he will not contest the party elections, the 88-year-old leader said, "I do not know whether I will live till then".
Anbhazhagan, who was present in the press conference, intervened to say, "If we propose somebody, others would also follow it and DMK chief will not refuse it."
To a question whether he would persuade Alagiri not to contest the coming party elections, Karunanidhi said, "DMK is not a dictatorship. It is democratic one. If I propose Stalin (as President) any party member can contest against him. That is DMK."
Karunanidhi had more than once given enough hints that Stalin is his political heir-apparent, an issue that has led to sibling rivalry with Alagiri.
Replying to a question whether he thinks Lok Sabha polls would be advanced, the DMK patriarch said he did not ‘presume’ so.
Kanimozhi 'happy' over Stalin playing a bigger role
On Saturday, Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi celebrated her birthday. She also expressed happiness over her father hinting at a bigger role for her brother M K Stalin in the future.
"As a sister, I am happy," was her brief response when reporters asked about Karunanidhi's clear hint that Stalin could takeover the mantle from him.
Alagiri challenges bid to hoist Stalin on DMK
Karunanidhi's plan to appoint his younger son M K Stalin as his political heir has not been accepted by his elder son M K Alagiri as the Union Minister on Friday said the party was not a 'mutt' (religious body) to appoint a successor.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Alagiri said: "The DMK is not a mutt."
Karunanidhi has in the past stated that the DMK was not a "Shankara matam" where the senior Shankaracharya selects a successor during his lifetime.
Alagiri was commenting on Karunanidhi's statement that Stalin would carry forward the DMK's fight for the cause of Dalits.
Karunanidhi on Thursday gave the clearest ever hint of his successor, naming party treasurer and his younger son Stalin as his heir-apparent.
"Till my last breath I will work for the upliftment of the society. To the question as to who will carry on this work after me, you should not forget Stalin, who is sitting here," Karunanidhi said at a function on Thursday.
The announcement by the DMK supremo at a function during which over 2,000 Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) members joined the DMK, evoked loud applause from party cadres.
The statement was the clearest backing for 59-year-old Stalin by the DMK chief since the party's crushing defeat in the 2011 Tamil Nadu elections.
Ever since 59-year-old Stalin was given prominence in the party and elevated as Deputy Chief Minister in 2009, there have been indications that he will succeed Karunanidhi.
Alagiri had openly resented such hints, saying he would not accept anyone else other than his father as leader.
The Madurai strongman, who is two years elder to Stalin, had a couple of months ago made no secret about his unhappiness over selection of party functionaries in his home turf, particularly in the youth wing headed by Stalin.
Alagiri had said his recommendations were neglected by the party leadership, an indirect attack on Stalin.
Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin, who holds the post of treasurer and youth wing secretary post in the party, is a former actor and is the third son of Karunanidhi, born to his second wife, Dayalu Ammal.
M. K. Muthu, M. K. Alagiri and M. K. Tamilarasu are other sons of Karunanidhi. His daughters are Selvi and Kanimozhi.
The DMK is a key ally of the Congress party at the Centre and the second largest constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition.