While seeking to oppose the BJP’s “saffron” hue, Mr. Stalin sought to refine the DMK’s position on atheism by saying that the “new age cadre” would respect others’ faith in God.

Mr. Stalin said while the DMK was cast in the ideas of rationalism, self-respect, social justice and socialism, he was pained by the “spineless AIADMK government” and the Centre that crushed all the ideas cherished by the party.

“The political situation poses a great challenge to the ideas of the self-respect movement. The Centre is seeking to destroy the foundations of education, art, culture, literature and religion with its power and communalism,” he charged. The DMK leader also accused the BJP government of undermining the judiciary and destroying democratic principles. The DMK, he said, was watching how the far-sighted schemes launched by DMK founder C.N. Annadurai and late Karunanidhi were being given up for the selfish agenda of the AIADMK government.

“But the party (AIADMK) continues to bear the name of Anna. We should remove these social evils and liberate Tamil Nadu from thieves,” he said.

Mr. Stalin said political parties that had no ideology, but nevertheless keen on capturing power, were the greatest threat to the nation. .

He went on the quote national poet Subramania Bharathi to charge that the AIADMK government feared everything.

Post scrapped

Earlier, announcing Mr. Stalin’s election, party general secretary K. Anbazhagan recalled his rise through the ranks of the DMK over a span of 50 years. Consequent to Mr. Stalin’s elevation, the post of working president, which was created for him in January 2017 by amending the party bylaws when Karunanidhi was ill, stood abolished. Senior leader Duraimurugan was unanimously elected to the post of treasurer, which Mr. Stalin had held for nearly 10 years.

Mr. Anbazhagan recalled that Karunanidhi had once said, “Though I have not done anything as a father to Stalin, he had honoured me as a son.” A resolution adopted at the meeting called upon the Central government to posthumously confer Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, on Karunanidhi.

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