M Karunanidhi's rising son MK Stalin is seen as the as the author who scripted the DMK's exit story from the UPA which received a cracking thumbs up by the cadre. Sources tell NDTV that although Mr Karunanidhi was willing to wait to hear from the Congress after its three emissaries met him, Mr Stalin was bent on calling it quits with the UPA.
On the March 15, Mr Karunanidhi had tacitly threatened to pull out his ministers from Union Cabinet if the Centre did not do the needful to amend the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka. But Mr Stalin, who met his father after his meeting with the central team, put his foot down and made him call it quits the following day.
Sources say after ten years of ties, Mr Stalin looks at the Congress as a liability. The combination, which won all 39 parliament seats in 2003, suffered a huge defeat in 2011 assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, after the 2009 defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka. Many claimed that the DMK, which was ruling Tamil Nadu then and the UPA at the Centre, did little to save Tamils or stop the war in Sri Lanka. An UN-appointed commission estimated around one lakh Lankan Tamil civilians may have been killed during the final phase of the war against the LTTE.
The latest move is also seen as a master stroke by Mr Stalin to bring the DMK under his control. He has already put his loyalists in party's key positions and has lured many from his brother's camp as well. Recently, Mr Stalin also spearheaded the Lankan Tamils cause for tough action against Sri Lanka and many welcome his decision.
Mr Radhakrishnan, Spokesperson of the DMK, told NDTV, "Mr Stalin has always played an important role. He even went to the Unite Nations with our MP Mr. TR Baalu and met Mr Naveneethan Pillai to present resolutions passed by the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation. He represented our Thalaivar's memorandum there".
The next general elections due in 2014 will be an acid test for Mr Stalin's leadership. His big challenge would be finding new regional allies. Many say he's already trying to rope in actor Vijaykanth, who fell out with AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.