Already full of treachery and intrigue, a new factor has emerged in the Tamil Nadu
elections scene: M. Karunanidhi's third son, Stalin, the uncrowned successor. He is the
man the DMK cadres look up to as their next leader. And it is he who is pushing for a
return to the Dravidian roots many in the party believe the DMK has forsaken after its
alignment with the BJP. Stalin is against the DMK linking up with national parties like
the Congress and the BJP. And it is common knowledge that it was Stalin who ensured that
Vaiko's MDMK would be forced to move out of the nda patchwork in Tamil Nadu.
Though not openly stated by the DMK, the real reason for the MDMK's walkout is the Stalin factor. "Vaiko knew if he remained in the front, the nda could manage to win the next poll. This meant he'd have only been helping Stalin consolidate his stranglehold. Even the transfer of power to Stalin would be smooth, as Karunanidhi has clearly indicated that this is his last election," says an MDMK leader, who is also confident that no amount of persuasion by George Fernandes,...