Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi on 10 May announced his son MK Stalin as his successor and said that he would become the CM if his party came to power.
However, he made it clear that Stalin could become his successor only after him. “Stalin can become CM only after me,” said Karunanidhi, according to NDTV on 10 May. The five-time CM said, “I have not lost a single election since 1957. If I win I’ll be the CM again,” he said.
He claimed Stalin does not want to become the CM, but is “wants me to become CM for a record sixth time.”
Karunanidhi, 93, is under pressure more than ever to transfer the reins to Stalin, who is emerging as the face of the party and draws immense support from its cadre.
In the campaign for the Tamil Nadu polls, the DMK chief has been jabbed by rival parties more than once about his age.
“He is 93, please take rest and retire. Leave it to us. You’ve worked too much. I’ve so much of respect for him. Please take care of your body and don’t come out in this heat,” said PMK’s Anbumani Ramadoss, 47, last month.
His party has shown nothing but unflinching support in their “Kalaignar (artist)”—the nickname for Karunanidhi. He’s the dictionary of Machiavelli… He’s like the Zorro’s sword,” said Tamilan Prasanna, the party’s spokesperson, carried away.
Three of the four chief ministerial aspirants in Tamil Nadu are senior citizens; sitting chief minister Jayalalithaa is 68 years and DMDK chief Vijayakanth is 63.