Groomed for years, MK Stalin will have to employ all he learned

CHENNAI: Being the political heir apparent to DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi is the biggest advantage as well as disadvantage for MK Stalin. Rising from the ranks, Karunanidhi emerged as one of the most shrewd politicians of the modern era. He jostled for space among stalwarts like Periyar EV Ramasamy, CN Annadurai, K Kamaraj, MG Ramachandran, and C Rajagopalachari.

Stalin was not fortunate to have undergone such struggles early in his career. He had a pedestal — provided by his father — from where he could command respect from party leaders and workers. Karunanidhi created space for Stalin within the party, at times pushing aside his trusted lieutenants, but never allowed him full autonomy. There were occasions when Karunanidhi made Stalin fight for his political space by creating road blocks within the family.

Only after Alagiri’s ouster from the party in 2014 did Stalin get the much-needed elbow room, and only after Karunanidhi retired from active politics did Stalin…

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