In getting his supporter to head the party district encompassing Anna Arivalayam and Karunanidhi memorial, overlooking a host of seniors, Udhayanidhi has now made it official that he would call the shots in the parent party too.
Sitrarasu, in fact, was only the third candidate of Stalin junior to get premature elevation. Barely a few months ago, Udhayanidhi had got his supporter Rajesh appointed secretary of Namakkal district, which was cited as one of the reasons by former party deputy general secretary V P Duraisamy before his planned defection to the BJP. The most blatant influence of Udhayanidhi was felt a few months prior to it when the DMK high command had trifurcated the Trichy party unit, elevated KN Nehru to the post of principal headquarters secretary and appointed his close friend Mahesh Poyyamozhi district secretary. If party sources are to be believed, another organizational change is imminent in far off Thoothukudi, thanks to Stalin junior’s influence. Youth wing functionary Joel, another friend of Udhayanidhi, is said to be keen on replacing Anitha Radhakrishnan in Thoothukudi district DMK unit. Radhakrishnan had invited trouble by replacing some long-time party loyalists. Unsurprisingly, the high command had deputed K N Nehru during the lock down to set right the unrest caused by Radhakrishnan then.
“The intervention of the high command in Thoothukudi district reorganization was justified. It might not spell trouble for him, but Anitha might regret it in future. It will work to the advantage of Joel,” said a party insider who did not to be named.
Understandably, the out of turn appointment of a youth wing functionaries in charge of the parent party has upset some seniors there. For instance, Mylapore area secretary Velu, who was one of the favourites to replace J Anbazhagan who succumbed to Covid-19 early June, did not hold back in venting his disappointment. A perturbed ‘Mylai’ Velu had mocked the appointment of a rank junior and took a veiled jibe at Udhayanidhi, whose stamp was written all over the appointment of Sitrarasu.
“It should not surprise old timers because Udhay had promised it in his first meeting as youth wing secretary. One of the assurances he gave to his functionaries in the Anbagam meeting was reward and fair treatment of youth wing office bearers by district secretaries of the parent party. It is happening now,” a district secretary requesting anonymity remarked, before citing the conduct of an earlier meeting of district secretaries at Anbagam instead of Arivalayam at the junior’s behest.
“No one can question his influence in the party now. Some district secretaries have been warming up to the junior for some time now to avoid trouble and retain their position. Some are murmuring discontent in private. They will eventually fall in line or get sidelined,” the district secretary added.