The council would pass at least two unanimous resolutions, one condoling the demise of its Dravidian stalwart Karunanidhi and another elevating Stalin to the post of president, which is now a mere formality. But, there is a catch. Though there is no impediment to Stalin’s coronation, continuation of K Anbazhagan as the general secretary, a few party leaders feel, could be a cause of concern.
“It was not a cause of concern when Anbazhagan served as general secretary during Karunanidhi’s presidentship. But, he cannot work as Stalin’s subordinate now. Stalin will also find it embarrassing to be ranked above Perasiriyar and not work with freedom. The easy solution would be Anbazhagan retiring on his own, but he seems reluctant to retire,” said a DMK senior requesting anonymity.
Should nonagenarian Anbazhagan retire magnanimously, the obvious choice for general secretary post would be principal headquarters secretary Duraimurugan, who is fourth in the DMK pecking order after the president, general secretary and treasurer. Duraimurugan, whose elevation is also long-overdue, has been the choice of Stalin’s family for general secretary post despite his taking occasional veiled jibes at the latter in public.
In the event of adamant Anbazhagan standing his ground, Stalin would have to make a lucrative offer like Lok Sabha ticket for Duraimurugan’s son and promise him elevation in the immediate future or he could consider a complete overhaul in the top hierarchy, including abolition of presidentship to avoid disgruntlements.
“Stalin might leave the president’s post held by Kalaignar untouched, as did Anna for his mentor Periyar, which will naturally force general secretary Anbazhagan to make way for Stalin,” a source close to the party leadership said, quickly adding that the chances of implementing the second propositionis remote.
In the same vein, elevation of Stalin would open space for his confidant EV Velu to bid for treasurer post, which thalapathy is more than keen on divesting. However, Velu would face heat from former telecom minister A Raja, who is a serious contender for the third ranked post in the DMK. Once reluctant to sing up for treasurer’s role, former minister K Ponmudi and KN Nehru, who were keen on maintaining their clout in their respective districts, may also join the fray, vying for the treasurer post, of course not before Duraimurugan becomes number two stepping into Anbazhagan’s shoes.