Tamil Nadu Elections: A First For Karunanidhi: ‘Stalin Can Become Chief Minister…After Me’

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May 10, 2016

CHENNAI: For the first time ever, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi has conceded that someone else can become chief minister if his party comes to power. He has named MK Stalin as his successor, but only after him.

DMK president M. Karunanidhi.

May 10, 2016

CHENNAI: For the first time ever, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi has conceded that someone else can become chief minister if his party comes to power. He has named MK Stalin as his successor, but only after him.

DMK president M. Karunanidhi.

"Stalin can become Chief Minister only if nature does something to me," Mr. Karunanidhi told NDTV today.

The 93-year-old five-time chief minister, who is wheelchair bound, stressed, however: "I have not lost a single election since 1957. If I win I'd be the Chief Minister for the sixth time." He claimed Stalin does not want to become chief minister. "He is foremost among those who want me to become Chief Minister for record sixth time."

Mr. Karunanidhi is under more pressure than ever to transfer the reins to his younger son, who is emerging as the face of the party.

In the campaign for the May 16 Tamil Nadu polls, Mr. Karunanidhi has been jabbed by rival parties more than once about his age.

"He is 93, please take rest and retire. Leave it to us, please leave it to youngsters. You've toiled 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 47-year-old Anbumani Ramadoss recently.

But an unfazed Mr. Karunanidhi called himself a youngster.

His party too, has shown nothing but unflinching support in their "kalaignar". "Our leader's brain is like Einstein's. He's the dictionary of Machiavelli… He's like the Zorro's sword," said Tamilan Prasanna, the party's spokesperson.

Three of the four chief ministerial aspirants in Tamil Nadu are senior citizens; sitting chief minister Jayalalithaa is 68 years old and DMDK Chief Vijayakanth is 63.

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