DMK cadres ready for soul-searching at Coimbatore

July 22nd, 2011 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 22 (IANS) Battling electoral defeat and corruption allegations, Tamil Nadu’s crisis-ridden DMK has called a meeting of its executive and general council over the weekend to discuss the road ahead and decide its alliance with the Congress and changes in leadership.

Other issues such as organisational restructuring and reasons for the defeat in the assembly elections will also be deliberated upon at the executive and general council meeting in the textile city Coimbatore, around 500 km from here, Saturday and Sunday.

About 2,000 general council members (including special invitees) and 500 executive council members are expected to attend, officials said.

The meeting assumes importance as it is the first after it lost power to its arch rival AIADMK and also the status of the major opposition party to actor-turned-politician A. Vijayakanth’s DMDK as it won only 23 seats in the 234-member assembly.

It also comes in the backdrop of its Lok Sabha member Dayanidhi Maran resigning from the union cabinet over his role in forcing businessman C. Sivasankaran to sell his holdings in Aircel, a mobile telephony company to Malaysian group Maxis.

Karunanidhi’s daughter and party MP Kanimozhi and another former minister A. Raja are in jail in connection with the 2G spectrum allotment scam.

That is not all.

Several DMK members, including top leaders like Veerapandi Arumugam, K.N. Nehru and union minister M.K. Alagiri’s wife Kanthi, are facing the heat on land grab allegations.

Close aides of Alagiri are in Madurai jail and the party has announced protests on Aug 1 against “false cases”.

Rudely shaken by the election defeat, the DMK is looking at changes in the party’s organisational structure to strengthen its grassroots base, party leaders said.

It has invited comments of its general council members on the proposal to convert the existing district units into parliamentary and assembly constituencies.

The party now has 34 district secretaries; if the changes are accepted, this number will go up to 39. Many leaders at the district levels are said to be opposed to the proposal as it would clip their powers.

The general council will also deliberate on the party continuing in the central government and the two vacant ministerial berths.

Former chief minister and party supremo M. Karunanidhi had said the party had not asked for replacements for the two ministers and the matter would be discussed at the general council meeting.

The other important matter that will be deliberated at the meeting is the possible handing of larger party responsibility to former deputy chief minister M.K. Stalin.

Talk of Stalin succeeding his father Karunanidhi to the party’s leadership has been going on for a long time. But it has been stalled by Alagiri.

In a recent newspaper interview, Alagiri reiterated that Karunanidhi was active and there was no need for change in party leadership.

He also refuted rumours of him and his followers boycotting the Coimbatore conference.

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