Can you ex­pel all those who turned up? Ala­giri to DMK

Claims pres­ence of 1.5L peo­ple; cops say only 12K-15K par­tic­i­pated

The New Indian Express - - CHENNAI -

AF­TER lead­ing a peace rally, in a show of strength, to pay homage to his fa­ther and DMK pres­i­dent M Karunanidh­i, who passed away on Au­gust 7, ousted leader and for­mer Union Min­is­ter MK Ala­giri on Wed­nes­day ques­tioned the party lead­er­ship whether it could ex­pel all those, who had turned up for the rally.

Clad in black shirt and ac­com­pa­nied by his son Dhayanidhi Ala­giri and daugh­ter Kay­alvizhi, Ala­giri led the rally from the spot near the Trip­li­cane po­lice sta­tion here be­fore cul­mi­nat­ing at Karunanidh­i’s burial site on the premises of Anna Square on the Ma­rina.

He looked over­whelmed by the sup­port he had re­ceived from par­ty­men who had gath­ered in large num­bers from var­i­ous places in the State, par­tic­u­larly from Madu­rai. Po­lice claimed that by their es­ti­mates 12,000 to 15,000 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated.

“The rally is or­gan­ised only with an aim of pay­ing homage to Kalaig­nar (Karunanidh­i) on the 30th day of his demise and it has no other in­ten­tions,” he told re­porters af­ter pay­ing flo­ral trib­utes to his fa­ther.

Ala­giri spe­cially thanked the po­lice, who were de­ployed in large num­bers from the orig­i­nat­ing point of the rally to the burial place of Karunanidh­i.

He posed a ques­tion to the DMK lead­er­ship whether it could sack all those par­tic­i­pat­ing in the rally.

“One-and-a-half lakh peo­ple have come for the rally. Can they ex­pel all of them? You can ask them (DMK lead­er­ship),” he said, when ques­tioned about sack­ing of a party func­tionary for re­ceiv­ing him at the Chen­nai air­port.

The turnout for the rally was con­sid­ered as a big suc­cess for the DMK’s for­mer or­gan­i­sa­tion sec­re­tary of south zone. For­mer MLA AG Sam­path, hail­ing from Villupuram, was among the no­table lead­ers turn­ing up for the rally.

Ala­giri was ex­pected to spell out his fu­ture plans at the rally but chose to keep quiet by keep­ing tricks up his sleeve for the time be­ing.

Sources said that he had given an ul­ti­ma­tum to newly-elected party pres­i­dent MK Stalin for his re­in­state­ment and if failed, he would make his plans pub­lic.

Ever since ex­pelled from the party in 2014, Ala­giri’s at­tempts to make a come­back did not fruc­tify as his younger brother Stalin stonewalle­d his re-en­try bid.

Ala­giri may find sup­port from a na­tional party to float his own out­fit in case Stalin con­tin­ued to block his re-en­try, the sources added. How­ever, he would weigh all op­tions be­fore mak­ing up his mind.

The rally is or­gan­ised only with an aim of pay­ing homage to Kalaig­nar. One­and-a-half lakh peo­ple have come for it. Can they ex­pel all of them? You can ask them (DMK lead­er­ship) MK Ala­giri

MK Ala­giri leads the rally of his sup­port­ers to Karunanidh­i Samadhi at Ma­rina Beach in the city on Wed­nes­day | P JAWA­HAR

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