Stalin has identified and fielded a couple of debutante youngsters, mainly the progeny of erstwhile regional satraps in a few districts. One such newcomer was Dr Prabhu, son of former DMK heavy weight Veerapandi S Arumugam (second marriage). Prabhu has been imported from the state capital and deputed to engage in active party duties in his late father’s one-time bastion Salem. Prabhu, who has been in Arumugam’s shadow during his father’s hay days, has been making regular visits to Anna Arivalayam in the recent years. Stalin, who has been maintaining a bittersweet relationship with Arumugam in the distant past, has been engaging Prabhu unusually well. So much so, that Stalin has made it a habit to consult Prabhu whenever Salem DMK unit was a top of debate in Arivalayam.
The enviable rapport between the leadership and Prabhu became evident during Stalin’s recent Salem tour when the latter had inquired personally about his presence in a benevolent way. Rumours abound in DMK circles that Stalin has planned a bigger role for Prabhu in Salem, especially in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. Party insider’s privy to the development were not averse to admitting that Stalin would consider Prabhu as Salem Lok Sabha candidate and entrust a bigger responsibility on him to negate the influence of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in Salem, where the three existing DMK district secretaries, Rajendran (Stalin’s go to guy in Salem), Raja (son of Veerapandi Arumugam) and old horse SR Sivalingam have just recently offered to iron out the differences and work together.
Stalin had infused fresh blood earlier in Tirupur and Coimbatore by engaging former minister Vellakoil Saminathan and incumbent MLA Karthi in active party duties, overlooking a seasoned Pongalur N Palanisamy in the west. In Dindigul too, his deputy general secretary I Periasamy’s son Senthil has been calling the shots in the recent years. Ironically, Stalin has not found the right youngster who would fit the bill in Erode, where former minister Muthusamy was facing resistance from former minister NKKP Raja who had fallen out a few years ago. Reinstatement of Mullaivendan should be shot in the arm for the party in Dharmapuri, another district where the DMK has failed to produce that many leaders.