DMK is likely to name Udhayanidhi Stalin, son of DMK president Stalin as its youth wing secretary. DMK leader and former Minister TR Baalu apparently proposed his name for the post.
Bengaluru: Most of the DMK candidates who triumphed in the recent elections, as is the tradition in Tamil Nadu politics, put out posters thanking the electorate and the party. The posters had prominently the pics of M Karunanidhi, M K Stalin and Udhayanidhi Stalin.
There should have been arched eyebrows at Udhayanidhi's picture in the posters. But people used to the ways of Tamil Nadu politics, and more specifically DMK's politics, were not exactly surprised.
They knew that Udhayanidhi, son of Stalin and grandson of Karunanidhi, was always being groomed for a bigger role in the party sooner or later. Party cadre had been sounded out to erect big cut-outs for him that would stand alongside Karunanidhi and Stalin's, making the hierarchical order loud and clear.
All the candidates in the election made it a point to call on Udhayanidhi (and the snaps of the same were assiduously splashed in DMK's social media handles and party's mouthpiece Murasoli)
Udhayanidhi was also the only DMK leader, aside from Stalin, to tour the 39 constituencies in the state and campaign. His campaign and speeches were asked to be highlighted in the media 'friendly' to the DMK.
In short, there was enough evidence to suggest that the road was being cleared to elevate Udhayanidhi, who is currently an ordinary member of the party, for a more prominent role in it.
And, as if on cue, the Times of India has reported that the DMK is likely to name Udhayanidhi as its youth wing secretary. DMK leader and former Minister TR Baalu apparently proposed his name for the post.
Secretary of the youth wing in the DMK means one thing: the future president of the party. For, Stalin held the post for 34 years. The youth wing of the party was launched in 1980, and Stalin was made its head in 1983. He quit the post only in 2017, when the decks were cleared for him to succeed Karunanidhi. Stalin being the head of the youth wing of the party well into his 60s was a joke all over Tamil Nadu.
Udhayanidhi stepping into the role of his father was always on cards, but him likely to become the youth wing secretary after the apprenticeship of just a single election campaign is the real deal here. Stalin, on the other hand, was blooded into poll campaigns pretty early. Old-timers recall that he started something called youth group in 1966, and later this was the one that transformed into the youth wing in 1980.
Udhayanidhi is also a film actor with a middling career in Kollywood. But it was always known that it mostly was a case of an 'extracurricular activity', and politics would be his first calling.
As a politician, Udhayanidhi has so far not shown any great flair for public speaking. His oratory is what one would describe as adequate. The good thing about him is he is well exposed to people and is said to have decent man-management skills.
As one cynical journalist in Chennai put it, "does it matter whether he has right skills for the job? Man, he has the right genes. That is what matters in the DMK. It is the party of the rising son, not rising sun."
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Last Updated 30, May 2019, 10:12 AM