The appointment, which signalled the political entry of his son, is purely the choice of the party members, he asserted.
''Despite my efforts to keep him away from politics, the party members have been urging to anoint him with a position in the party. It has been the party members' wish since the last two years,'' Vaiko told reporters here.
''No, this is not dynasty politics. The situation now is different from what it was in 1993. Our party members want to see him as a leader, though I have been against him (his son) entering politics since the last two years,'' the MDMK chief said in reply to a specific question. He wanted to ensure the appointment was democratic and hence suggested a secret ballot system. Of 106 votes polled, 104 favoured conferring a party position to Durai while two had opposed, he said.
Vaiko had parted ways with the DMK in 1993 during the reign of former Chief Minister, the late M Karunanidhi, over the issue of projecting M K Stalin, now Chief Minister, as his successor. He later floated the MDMK, and strove hard to develop the party on his own. He is now in alliance with the Stalin-led DMK and on Wednesday asserted it would continue.
With this latest development in Tamil Nadu, the MDMK joins the bandwagon of political parties viz; the DMK and S Ramadoss-led PMK which have seen rising sons.
Asked if his age compelled Vaiko, who entered the Rajya Sabha in 1978, to accord a prominent role for his son in the party, the 77-year-old MDMK chief shot back, ''I am younger than you. I can play volleyball (even now). Are you ready?'' The real powers in the party hierarchy were conferred with the general secretary (i.e. Vaiko) and not with the headquarters secretary. In his capacity as headquarters secretary, Durai could tour the State to interact with party cadres and leaders and communicate party related developments with them, Vaiko said. The 49-year-old Durai Vyapuri, a businessman, has been the party's star campaigner and has been politically active. He is a social and environmental activist, too.
''Of late, he has been involved in extending healthcare and relief to the Coronavirus affected persons. He has also been interacting with the party members,'' Vaiko said about his son.