Chennai | DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi was today re-elected as party President for the 11th time in a row by the newly constituted general council. Karunanidhi had during the Lok Sabha poll campaign last year indicated that it could be his last electoral campaign and the election is significant for him as he is now tasked with the responsibility of steering the party for the next five years.
Karunanidhi was first elected as president on July 27, 1969 after the demise of DMK founder C N Annadurai. The post was created for the first time since the party was founded in 1949. K Anbazhagan and Karunanidhi’s son M K Stalin were also re-elected as General Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Four audit committee members were constituted to oversee management of party funds.
Days ahead of the elections, Stalin dismissed reports as malicious in some sections of media that he was not allowed to contest for the post of General Secretary and that he had offered to quit from his post of Treasurer. The elections to the top posts of President, General Secretary and Treasurer marks the culmination of the 14th organisational elections in the DMK.
Despite witnessing a lean phase since the 2011 Assembly elections when it faced rout followed by another drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections last year, the party elections saw active participation of about 85 lakh party men.
As part of measures to strengthen the party, the adminstrative structure of the party at the district level was revamped. District secretaries are powerful in the DMK and the structure was revamped to make it broad based and more accountable.
The 35 party districts were reorganised as 65 districts and elections were completed in 60 such districts barring regions falling under Salem and Erode. Introduction of a new layer of party units at town panchayats, an intermediary level between branch and union was another important feature of the organisational polls.