The rally is being dubbed by his supporters as ‘a milestone’ in the 67 year old’s political career
Weeks after staging a rebellion against younger brother and party leader MK Stalin, late Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M Karunanidhi’s elder son MK Alagiri is set to lead a rally in Chennai on September 5.
The rally is considered as a show of strength amid Alagiri's bid to seek re-induction into the DMK, with reports saying the leader expects a crowd of 1 lakh to turn up.
This is the latest development in the battle for leadership in the DMK, in which Stalin has edged out his elder brother.
On August 13, less than a week after DMK patriarch Karunanidhi’s death, Alagiri had challenged Stalin to stake claim for the party's leadership.
Speaking to the media at his father's burial site on Marina Beach in Chennai, Alagiri said that he was "pained" by what has been transpiring after his father’s death, and said "all the real supporters" of the party were with him.
Days later, Stalin, however, was elected unopposed as the new president of the DMK.
On August 30, Alagiri had made a U-turn, stating that he was prepared to bury the hatchet and would accept Stalin’s leadership if he was readmitted into the party fold.
The estranged elder brother also said that neither he nor his son Dayanidhi Alagiri yearned for any position in the party.
Supporters of Alagiri are now dubbing the September 5 rally as ‘a milestone’ in the 67-year-old’s political career.
Alagiri’s son Durai Dayanidhi told a newspaper that he was unaware as to why they were not being accepted back into the DMK fold. “We don’t know. Maybe the people around the current leaders think my father is a big force and (will) emerge as a big leader in the party," he said.
“I am not interested and never asked for any position in the party nor in any trust as is being claimed,” he added.
In the 2000s, Alagiri used to be a party strongman, drawing support especially from the Madurai region. In the UPA 2 government, he was made the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers.Eventually, he was sidelined from the party and Stalin was announced as Karunanidhi's political heir. Alagiri was expelled from the party in 2014 by Karunanidhi in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls for "anti-party activities".