MK-Maran stand-off reaches a climax
The war of words between Karunanidhi and the Marans has reached such a point that a break-up looks like the only option. The widening rift over the past one year just reaffirms that a truce between the two sides is simply not possible.
In an article in the party organ Murasoli on Friday, MK says that the Maran brothers betrayed him and his party and highlights issues like the Dinakaran polls, Sun TV share settlement, constant criticism of DMK govt. through SUN media and the damage done to the Anna Arivalayam premises which Sun Network occupied in the past. The full text of the Murasoli article has been published by Thina Thanthi.
As expected, Kalanithi Maran replies to MK's complaints and claims innocence. In the past, it was Dayanidhi Maran who responded to such allegations. Kalanithi Maran is usually recluse and has issued a press statement to clarify his stand rather than meeting the media. Even Dayanidhi's media interview was not shown on Sun TV's prime time news on Friday. The Hindu gives more space to MK's accusations and has provided limited coverage to Kalanithi's reply. This has made some believe that The Hindu is favouring MK.
MK has always sidelined people who grow in stature within his party and there have been many examples in the past. When Anna passed away, Neduncheziyan was sidelined and MK took over. More recently, Vaiko was ignored as he had become the No. 2 in the party. Dayanidhi Maran had grown in stature after becoming a Cabinet Minister and his frequent appearance in the media would have made MK believe that Dayanidhi might emerge as a possible successor to MK surpassing Stalin, Azhagiri and Kanimozhi.
Dayanidhi has realized that there is no future for him in DMK and has been carefully planning his moves. The recent blows dealt by the formation of Kalaignar TV and Arasu Cable TV have only renewed the Maran brothers' urge to move closer to political forces (be it DMK or others). Sun TV has been giving increased footage to opposition views (especially Vijayakanth) which is an indication that Dayanidhi Maran might want to partner with one of the opposition parties.
In a post-MK era, Dayanidhi might stick to the DMK only if Stalin emerges as the successor. This is because, Stalin is often seen as being close to the Marans. If Azhagiri takes over the mantle, Dayanidhi would have to join some opposition party or start a breakaway faction together with Stalin if he has serious plans of furthering his political career.
Kalanithi Maran is one of the richest persons in TN (need to revalidate this in the light of the recent plunge in Sun TV stock) and he will go to whatever extent to protect his business empire. To secure his position, Kalanithi needs Dayanidhi to be a force to reckon with in the political spectrum even if it means opposing their own grandfather. Expect more mud-slinging as Dayanidhi's ouster / resignation from the DMK is seen as the natural fallout of the current controversy.
(Photo Courtesy: Murasoli / New Indian Express)