Chennai: Former Union minister M.K. Alagiri, expelled from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in 2014 for “anti-party activities", took out a rally on Wednesday in Chennai in an apparent attempt at a show of strength to force his reinstatement in a party that is led by his brother.

“The ‘silent rally’ is a success. The only reason for holding this rally is to pay our homage to our leader Kalaignar (Karunanidhi)," said Alagiri, who was accompanied by his son Durai Dayanidhi and daughter Kayalvizhi.

DMK chief M. Karunanidhi died on 7 August at the age of 94.

Almost 10,000 people from various districts of Tamil Nadu marched from Triplicane police station to Karunanidhi’s memorial on the Marina beach.

Alagiri claimed that more than 100,000 people attended the rally. “Will they throw all of them out? You ask them and let me know," he said.

On Monday, the DMK suspended M. Ravi, the DMK’s area secretary for Velachery in Chennai, who welcomed Alagiri at the Chennai airport.

A Teachers’ Day function that was to be attended by chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had to be rescheduled because of the rally.

Tamil Nadu minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader D. Jayakumar denied any support to Alagiri’s rally. “It was done as a regular law and order procedure," he said.

On 13 August, Alagiri had claimed the support of the “true loyalist" cadres. However, following his brother M.K. Stalin’s unanimous election as the president of the DMK on 28 August, Alagiri said neither he nor his son Durai Dayanidhi yearned for any position in the party.

“When we desire to be inducted into the party, we must accept the (Stalin’s) leadership, isn’t it," Alagiri said.

Stalin had taken over as the working president of the party at the previous general council of the DMK held in January 2017, as Karunanidhi’s deteriorating health kept him away from party affairs.

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