The surprise meeting between Udhayanidhi Stalin and ousted DMK leader MK Alagiri has become the talk of the town as it has happened for the first time in many years. The meeting that was held on Monday has drawn a sharp attention and sparked speculations on whether Alagiri is making a political comeback.
MK Alagiri is a former Union Minister and elder brother of Chief Minister MK Stalin. Alagiri has been estranged from the party after he was expelled from DMK several years back by his father, late DMK president and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. In a political clash, both MK Alagiri and MK Stalin had a brotherly rival for a long time and while Stalin took over the leadership of the party after the demise of Karunanidhi, Alagiri was bordered at his political stronghold Madurai.
M Karunanidhi had expelled Alagiri from the party by alleging a threat from him and the ties between both the brothers had soured with both of them refraining to come eye-to-eye. While being estranged, there were several political titbits that Alagiri was planning to launch a new party and was going to join BJP to stage new politics against his brother. During the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 assembly polls, it was reported that Alagiri's political base in Madurai and southern districts would challenge Stalin to reap the votes.
However, there has been no political plan from Alagiri as he stayed dormant politically. After DMK won the 2021 assembly polls under MK Stalin's leadership, Alagiri came out and apparently expressed his wishes to his brother. Alagiri's son Dhayanidhi Alagiri took part in MK Stalin's swearing-in ceremony in 2021 and Alagiri's greetings for Stalin displayed the sudduing rivalry between the brothers. In December 2022, when MK Stalin's son Udhayanidhi Stalin became a minister, Alagiri's son participated in the ceremony and greeted the new minister.
A month after becoming a minister, Udhayanidhi Stalin has now met MK Alagiri in Madurai for the first time in several years. It is also the first time that a member from MK Stalin's family had a direct meeting with MK Alagiri. Udhayanidhi Stalin arrived in Madurai on Monday - January 16 to inaugurate the Jallikattu event, as Tamil Nadu's Sports Development Minister, at Madurai's Alanganallur. He was received at the airport by Tamil Nadu Ministers PTR Palanivel Thiagarajan and P Moorthy.
After arriving in Madurai, Udhayanidhi Stalin went to meet MK Alagiri and the latter and his family had conferred a warm welcome to Udhayanidhi and he was also accomapanied by Tamil Nadu School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi. Udhayanidhi's meeting with Alagiri had lasted for around 45 minutes. The meeting was closely watched and they both addressed the reporters after wrapping up their meeting.
Udhayanidhi said, "I came to Madurai to inaugurate Jallikattu at Alanganallur after becoming a minister. I met MK Alagiri to seek his blessings. He has greeted me and my gratitude to him." When asked about whether there was any political talk in the meeting, Alagiri said that he was not even in the party and there is no discussion of politics. "My nephew has become a minister and he had come to see his periappa (Uncle) and periyamma (Aunt) and we blessed him", Alagiri added.
Alagiri further said, "Minister Anbil Mahesh is also like a son to me. I am elated in blessing them. My younger brother is the Chief Minister and he (Udhayanidhi) is a minister. What's more happiness than this?" When a reporter asked Alagiri on whether he will come back to DMK, Alagiri gave an one-line answer that, "You have to ask them (MK Stalin)." Alagiri then gave a send-off to Udhayanidhi as he left his residence.