After issuing threats to the DMK under his younger brother MK Stalin, rebellious MK Alagiri made a sudden U-turn on Thursday and pleaded for re-induction into the party, expressing a willingness to work under his leadership.
Now there is no doubt of any kind over the leadership of Stalin in DMK after he was formally anointed as party chief by the DMK general council.
In fact, from the minute his father took seriously ill two years ago, his younger son and chosen political heir apparent MK Stalin gave out enough indications that he was ready to take on the mantle.
Within minutes of his coronation, Stalin as head of the DMK issued a strong directive to his party cadres – to ignore MK Alagiri and asked them to not even recognise his presence as he was ousted for anti-party activities by the DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi.
After threatening to spoil chances of the DMK led by Stalin, Alagiri announced that he was working to save the DMK. But now after his party cadres refusing to have anything to do with him, Alagiri on Thursday almost pleaded to be re-inducted into the party and said he was ready to work with Stalin to save the DMK.
"If I have to join the DMK, then I will have to accept Stalin's leadership," Alagiri told media persons at Madurai on Thursday. But he was threatening at the same time pleading to be readmitted to the party.
Alagiri said he was going ahead with September 5 rally in Chennai and boasted that thousands of cadres would attend the rally. "DMK general council is not the only body. The cadres are with me," Alagiri said justifying his demand to be readmitted to the party.
But sources close to Stalin indicated that "there is no question of allowing Alagiri back into the party fold."
Stalin had slowly worked his way within the party and replaced all Alagiri supporters and followers from positions of power within the party in southern districts. He installed all his loyal persons in key party posts. Alagiri was also considerably weakened after AIADMK supremo as the chief minister took strong police action against Alagiri henchmen, who were eliminated.
Once shorn of power after UPA lost power in 2014, Jayalalithaa came hard on him, which came in handy for Stalin to further chip away at his brother's fiefdom.
Political analysts had thought that in closely fought assembly elections, Alagiri could inflict some political damage to the DMK's prospects, but Stalin has taken a hard decision and closed all doors on his elder brother.