Will Karunanidhi ensure a smooth succession?

Palace intrigues in the Karunanidhi household? Azhagiri Stalin patched up?

Palace intrigues in the Karunanidhi household? Azhagiri Stalin patched up?
Have the two warring sons of Karunanidhi patched up?
With the hospitalisation of Muthuvel Karunanidhi, the 93-year-old president of the DMK, on Thursday morning, Tamil Nadu finds itself in a bizarre position with two of its most important political leaders out of public gaze as well as public action all at the same time.

Karunanidhi has been restricted to his first floor room in his palatial house at Gopalapuram since last one month.

Karunanidhi has been rushed to Kauvery Hospital in Chennai early Thursday morning and within hours, Dr Aravindan Selvaraj, executive director of the hospital, issued a release stating that the Grand Old Man of Indian politics has been admitted to the hospital for optimization of nutrition and hydration. “He is stable and being treated by a team of doctors. He will be in the hospital for few days,” said the release by Dr Selvaraj.

But Karunanidhi’s second son M K Stalin, who is also the de facto leader of the party, told reporters that his father was fine and would be discharged in two days. Karunanidhi has been restricted to his first floor room in his palatial house at Gopalapuram since last one month. No visitors other than the immediate family members are allowed to meet him. The only person outside the Karunanidhi clan who had called on him was K Anbazhagan, the general secretary of the DMK.

Sources close to the DMK’s first family said that when Anbazhagan called on Karunanidhi last Thursday, the DMK chief wept like a child. The 95-year-old Anbazhagan was taken aback on seeing Karunanidhi sobbing and had a tough time calming and consoling him down, said the sources. What upset Karunanidhi was the successive failures of the DMK in all elections since 2011 and the public spat between his two sons M K Azhagiri and Stalin for the control of the party. Moreover, his personal astrologers had told Karunanidhi that he may fail in his bouts with the King of death.

Following the intervention of Anbazhagan and Karunanidhi’s elder daughter Selvi, the warring siblings were brought together on Wednesday evening at Gopalapuram. It is reported that Karunanidhi had a personal meeting with Azhagiri and pleaded with the Madurai based son not to make life difficult for Stalin. The gentle persuasion by his mother Dayalu Ammal and sister Selvi had its effect on Azhagiri who is reported to have told her that he would not stand in the way of Stalin becoming the DMK chief.

Karunanidhi who assumed the presidency of the DMK in 1969 has completed 47 years as the party chief, making him the longest serving head of a political party in India.

Azhagiri was not available for comments while Stalin does not like to discuss the family affairs in public. Though Karunanidhi has been ailing for some time now, he refused to go to the hospital because of the bad blood between the two brothers. Once the issue was sorted out, though for the time being, he allowed his dear and near ones to take him to the hospital.

Karunanidhi who assumed the presidency of the DMK in 1969 has completed 47 years as the party chief, making him the longest serving head of a political party in India. His dream is to equal and then break the record held by Fidel Castro, the Cuban tyrant who was the head of the Cuban Communist Party for 50 years (1961 to 2011). His fans and followers are offering poojas and homams in all South Indian temples seeking divine blessings for Karunanidhi’s continuation as party chief beyond fifty years.

Chief Minister and AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa, who has been undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospitals in the State capital since September 22 for fever and dehydration is yet to come out of the hospital. Though Dr Pratap C Reddy, chairman of the corporate hospital has declared at least a dozen times that Jayalalithaa has recovered fully, Amma (as Jayalalithaa is addressed by her cadre) continues to be in the exclusive and elite second floor suite of the hospital. Nobody other than her live-in companion Sasikala Natarajan and the doctors attending to her has seen the chief minister since September 22. No pictures of the hospitalised chief minister have been released till date.

If the words of C R Saraswathy, the AIADMK official spokesperson are to be believed, Jayalalithaa was never sick at all.

What Dr Reddy tells those who ask him how long the chief minister would have to stay in the hospital is meaningful. “It is for the chief minister to decide. When she feels she is alright she would leave for home and resume her normal duties. The chief minister has fully recovered and she is a very strong person,” says Dr Reddy. This is being seen as an indirect message to the chief minister that the doctors have nothing more under their disposal to treat the chief minister and she should vacate the hospital. If the words of C R Saraswathy, the AIADMK official spokesperson are to be believed, Jayalalithaa was never sick at all. “Amma is fine and she is reading newspapers and giving instructions to all concerned,” Saraswathy tells all those who ask about the health condition of Jayalalithaa. But she does not have any reply if she is asked why Jayalalithaa be in the hospital if she is fine?

Team PGurus

We are a team of focused individuals with expertise in at least one of the following fields viz. Journalism, Technology, Economics, Politics, Sports & Business. We are factual, accurate and unbiased.

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