Karunanidhi again hints at his retirement


Chennai: With the state assembly elections around the corner, DMK President and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Monday sounded out his retirement from active political life to concentrate on literary activities.

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Speaking at the venue of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister K.R. Periakaruppan’s son’s wedding, Karunanidhi said: “If asked whether you (the cadre) will be eager to call me as chief minister or as the leader, you will be happy to call me as the leader. I will soon come to that decision.”

The announcement assumes significance as the DMK’s general council is set to meet early next month here.

Further, Karunanidhi’s two sons – Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers M.K. Alagiri and Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin – and DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan have been saying that Karunanidhi will be the chief minister for a sixth time when the party wins the assembly elections.

This is the second time within a year that 86-year-old Karunanidhi, the five-time chief minister, has hinted about his retirement.

Last year, he announced his intention to retire from active politics after the World Classical Tamil Conference held in Coimbatore in June 2010.

However, he had to change his decision as Alagiri raised the banner of revolt when he told a Tamil magazine that he would not accept anyone else as his leader – indicating Stalin – if and when his father calls it quits.

He added that he would contest for the DMK president’s post if there arises a contest.

That put the succession question to rest in the DMK with Karunanidhi deciding to continue.

But now the situation has changed after the 2G spectrum scam, which cost Karunanidhi’s blue eyed boy A.Raja the post of union communications minister.

Recently Kanimozhi, the leader’s daughter, in an interview said her father would solve whatever problems there were in the family.

Karunanidhi has so far entered the assembly 11 times and whether he would score a dozen will have to be seen.