Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Dravidian Progressive Federation
PresidentM. K. Stalin
(Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu)
General SecretaryDurai Murugan
Parliamentary ChairpersonT. R. Baalu
TreasurerT. R. Baalu
FounderC. N. Annadurai
Founded17 September 1949 (71 years ago) (1949-09-17)
Split fromDravidar Kazhagam
Preceded by
Succeeded by
HeadquartersAnna Arivalayam, Anna Salai, Chennai-600018. Tamil Nadu, India
NewspaperDinakaran (Daily journal)
Murasoli (Daily journal)
The Rising Sun (Weekly journal)
Kalaignar TV (TV channel)
Student wingDMK Manavar Ani
Youth wingDMK Ilaignar Ani
Labour wingLabour Progressive Federation (LPF)
Women's wingDMK Magalir Ani
Colours Black
ECI StatusState Party[3]
Alliance1)DMK : Third Front (1957–1967) (DMK party first Win 1967–1971), (1982–1984), (1996–1999) (DPA) : (2006–2009) & (2014–2016) (SPA) : (2021–Present)
2)Congress Party Alliance : (1971–1976) & (1980–1982) (UPA) : (2004–2013) & (2016–Contnew Alliance)
3)Janata Party Alliance : (1977–1979) & (1984–1988)
4)Janata Dal Alliance
NF : (1989–1996)
UF : (1996–1998 Central Alliance)
5)Bharatiya Janata Party : (NDA) – (1999–2004)
Seats in Lok Sabha
24 / 543
Seats in Rajya Sabha
07 / 245
Seats in 
Number of states and union territories in government
1 / 31
Election symbol
Rising Sun
Party flag
Flag DMK.svg

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK; transl. Dravidian Progressive Federation) is a political party from India, which has a major influence on the state of Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry.[4] It is currently the ruling party of Tamil Nadu and is a part of the Indian political front known as the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). DMK is a Dravidian party, adhering to the socio-democratic and social justice principles based of C. N. Annadurai and Periyar E. V. Ramasamy.[1] It was founded in 1949 by Annadurai as a breakaway faction from the Dravidar Kazhagam (also known as Justice Party until 1944), which was headed by Periyar E. V. Ramasamy.[5][6][7]

DMK was headed by Annadurai (as the Secretary-general) from 1949 until his death on 3 February 1969.[8] He also served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from 1967 to 1969. Under Annadurai, in 1967, DMK became the first party, other than the Indian National Congress, to win the state-level elections with a clear majority on its own in any state in India. M. Karunanidhi followed Annadurai as the first President of DMK from 1969 until his death on 7 August 2018.[9] He also served as the Chief Minister for five non-consecutive terms, in two of which he was dismissed by the Central government.[10] At present, the DMK is led by Karunanidhi's son M. K. Stalin, who served as the Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from 2009 to 2011. Stalin was elected as the party's Executive Leader in 2017 and then was unanimously elected as Party President by the general body of DMK in 2018, after Karunanidi's death.[11]

Following the 2019 general election, DMK emerged as the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha with 24 seats.[12] The party won majorities in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly five times and currently the ruling party in Tamil Nadu.

The head office of the party is called Anna Arivalayam, and is located at Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

DMK Party terms in power (Tamil Nadu assembly elections)

DMK Period 6 times and Total 21 years in power
S:No Chief Minister Assembly Elections Party+Alliance Other Side Party's Leader Year's
1 C. N. Annadurai (1967–1969)
Navalar Nedunchezhiyan (1969–1969)
M. Karunanidhi (1969–1971)
1967 Madras Legislative Assembly election DMK+Third Front (137-Majorty Government) (Indian National Congress) K. Kamarajar (1967–1971) (4–Years)
2 M. Karunanidhi 1971 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election DMK+Indian National Congress (Central Alliance No attend state Assembly Election's) (184-Majority Government) (Congress (O)) K. Kamarajar (1971–1976) (5–Years)
3 1989 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election DMK+Janata Dal (NF)
(150-Majority Government)
(AIADMK) J. Jayalalithaa (1989–1991) (2–Years)
4 1996 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election DMK+Janata Dal (UF) (Central Alliance No attend Tamilnadu State Parliament Election and Assembly Election's) (1996–1998) (173-Majority Government) DMK+Bharatiya Janata Party (NDA) (1999-2001) (1996–2001) (5–Years)
5 2006 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election DMK+(DPA) (2006–2009) (96-Minority Government Support from Congress Party 34 MLA Totally 96+34=130) DMK+Indian National Congress (UPA) (2009–2011) (2006–2011) (5–Years)
6 M. K. Stalin 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election DMK+(SPA) (125-Majority Government) (AIADMK) Edappadi K. Palaniswami (2021–Present)

DMK Party Parliament Election's Central Alliance Party's

DMK Party Central Alliance 4 Party's and 7 Prime Minister and Indian National Congress 4 time Alliance and two time (Indira Gandhi) and (Manmohan Singh) and Two time Janata Dal Party Alliance DMK Central Alliance Totally 26 Years.
S:No Chief Minister Parliament Election's Central Alliance Party's Prime Minister Year's
1 M. Karunanidhi (Tamil Nadu Chief Minister) 1971 Indian general election DMK+Indian National Congress (First Time Alliance) Indira Gandhi (1971–1976) (5–Years)
2 1977 Indian general election DMK+Janata Party Morarji Desai (1977–1979) (2–Years)
3 1980 Indian general election DMK+Indian National Congress (Second time Alliance) Indira Gandhi (1980–1982) (2–Years)
4 1989 Indian general election DMK+Janata Dal (First Time Alliance) (National Front) V. P. Singh (1989–1990) (1–Years)
5 1996 Indian general election DMK+Janata Dal (Second Time Alliance) (United Front) (Central Alliance No attend Tamilnadu State Parliament Election and Assembly Election's) Deve Gowda & I. K. Gujral (1996–1997) & (1997–1998) (2–Years)
6 1999 Indian general election DMK+Bharatiya Janata Party (National Democratic Alliance) Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1999–2004) (5–Years)
7 2004 Indian general election
2009 Indian general election
DMK+Indian National Congress (United Progressive Alliance) (2004 Third Time and 2009 Fourth time Alliance) Manmohan Singh (2004–2009) & (2009–2013) (9–Years)


Origins and foundation

The party was derived from parent parties:

  • Justice Party (South Indian Liberal Federation)
  • Dravidar Kazhagam
  • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Justice Party

DMK traces its roots to the South Indian Liberal Federation (Justice Party) founded by Dr C. Natesa Mudaliar in 1916, in the presence of P. Thyagaraya Chetty, Dr P.T. Rajan, Dr T. M. Nair, Dr Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar and a few others in Victoria Public Hall Madras Presidency.[13] The Justice Party, whose objectives included social equality and justice, came to power in the first general elections to the Madras Presidency in 1920.[14] Communal division between Brahmins and non-Brahmin upper castes began in the presidency during the late-19th and early-20th century, mainly due to caste prejudices and disproportionate Brahminical representation in government jobs. The Justice Party's foundation marked the culmination of several efforts to establish an organisation to represent the non-Brahmin upper castes in Madras and is seen as the start of the Dravidian Movement.[15][16][17]

E. V. Ramasamy Nayakkar , a popular Tamil reformist leader of the time, had joined Indian National Congress in 1919, to oppose what he considered the Brahminic leadership of the party.[18] Periyar's participation at the Vaikom Satyagraha made him to start the Self-Respect Movement in 1926 which was rationalistic and "anti-Brahministic".[19] He quit Congress and in 1935, he joined the Justice Party.

In the 1937 elections, the Justice Party lost and the Indian National Congress under C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) came to power in Madras Presidency. Rajaji's introduction of Hindi as a compulsory subject in schools led to the anti-Hindi agitations, led by Periyar and his associates.[20]

Dravidar Kazhagam

In August 1944, Periyar created the 'Dravidar Kazhagham' out of the Justice Party and the Self-Respect Movement at the Salem Provincial Conference.[21] Dravidar Kazhagam, conceived as a movement and not a political party, insisted on an independent nation for Dravidians called Dravida Nadu consisting of areas that were covered under Madras Presidency.

The party at its inception retained the flag of the South Indian Liberal Federation which had a picture of a traditional type of balance signifying the idea of equality.[22] Its central theme was to remove the degraded status imposed on Dravidians, and to denote this, the party adopted a black flag with a red circle inside it, the black signifying their degradation and the red denoting the movement for upliftment.[23]

It opposed Brahminical social, political and ritual dominance, and aimed to form a separate country of Dravida Nadu, to include either all of South India or the predominantly Tamil-speaking regions.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Over the years, many disagreements arose between Periyar and his followers. In 1949, several of his followers led by C. N. Annadurai decided to split from Dravidar Kazhagham, after an aged Periyar married a young woman Maniammai and appointed his young wife to act as his successor to lead the party, superseding senior party leaders. Until then E. V. K. Sampath, the nephew of Periyar, was considered his political heir.[24][25]

  1. C N.Annadurai (on 17 September 1949 along with)
  2. Madurai Muthu
  3. V. R. Nedunchezhiyan
  4. K. A. Mathiazhagan
  5. N. V. Natarajan, later in 1950s known as Aimberum Thalaivargal (after mummunai poorattum) (Great Five Leaders)

along with thousands of others in Robinson park in Royapuram in Chennai announced the formation of the DMK. The name of the party (DMK) was announced by Kudanthai Perunthagai. K. K. Neelamegam.

The Dravidian philosophy culminated both politically and socially with DMK at the helm of administration, the first ever sub-altern movement in the history of sub-continent politics to have political representation from erstwhile lower-classes, a marked move from generations of civic administration from upper class citizenry. This had deep societal impact which resulted in increased political participation, aided the representation of the emergent strata, enriched civic life, and thus strengthened pluralist democracy. The movement, in social media circles, is popularly known as Robinson Park Effect.[26][27]

After split from Dravidar Kazhagam

C.N. Annadurai's leadership (1949–1969)

DMK's Anti-Hindi Imposition agitations

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) which split from the Dravidar Kazhagam in 1949, inherited the anti-Hindi Imposition policies of its parent organisation. DMK's founder Annadurai had earlier participated in the anti-Hindi imposition agitations during 1938–40 and in the 1940s. In July 1953, the DMK launched an agitation for changing the name of a town from Kallakudi to Dalmiapuram. They claimed that the town's name (after Ramkrishna Dalmia) symbolised the exploitation of South India by the North.[28][29] On 15 July 1953, M. Karunanidhi (later Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) and other DMK members erased the Hindi name in Dalmiapuram railway station's name board and lay down on the tracks. In the altercation with the police that followed the protests, two DMK members lost their lives, and several others, including Karunanidhi and Kannadasan, were arrested.[30]

In the 1950s, DMK continued its anti-Hindi Imposition policies along with the secessionist demand for Dravida Nadu. On 28 January 1956, Annadurai along with Periyar and Rajaji signed a resolution passed by the Academy of Tamil Culture endorsing the continuation of English as the official language.[31][32] On 21 September 1957 the DMK convened an anti-Hindi Conference to protest against the imposition of Hindi. It observed 13 October 1957 as "anti-Hindi Day".[33][34] On 31 July 1960, another open air anti-Hindi conference was held at Kodambakkam, Madras.[35] In November 1963, DMK dropped its secessionist demand in the wake of the Sino-Indian War and the passage of the anti-secessionist 16th Amendment to the Indian Constitution. But the anti-Hindi stance remained and hardened with the passage of Official Languages Act of 1963.[36] The DMK's view on Hindi's qualifications for official language status were reflected in Annadurai's response to the "numerical superiority of Hindi" argument: "If we had to accept the principle of numerical superiority while selecting our national bird, the choice would have fallen not on the peacock but on the common crow."[37]

First election

DMK’s first foray into electoral politics was a mixed bag. Some of the founding leaders lost their bid to be elected to the legislative assembly in 1957. M Karunanidhi won the Kulithalai constituency while other seniors members like CN Annadurai in Kanchipuram, Madurai Muthu. In Thirupparankundram and V. R. Nedunchezhiyan from Salem lost their bid. In 1962 another prominent actor S.S.Rajendran ("SSR") contested in Theni, legislative assembly election, against the then-popular congress leader N. R. Thiyagarajan and won the seat.

Formation of State Government

In 1967, DMK came to power in Madras province 18 years after its formation and 10 years after it had first entered electoral politics. This began the Dravidian era in Madras province which later became Tamil Nadu. In 1967, the Congress lost nine states to opposition parties, but it was only in Madras state that a single non-Congress party majority was achieved.[38] The electoral victory of 1967 is also reputed to an electoral fusion among the non-Congress parties to avoid a split in the Opposition votes. Rajagopalachari, a former senior leader of the Congress party, had by then left the Congress and launched the right-wing Swatantra Party. He played a vital role in bringing about the electoral fusion amongst the opposition parties to align against the Congress.[39] At that time, his cabinet was the youngest in the country.[40]

Self-respect marriages act

Annadurai legalised self-respect marriages for the first time in the country. Such marriages were void of priests to preside over the ceremony and thus did not need a Brahmin to carry out the wedding.[41] Self-respect marriages were a brainchild of Periyar, who regarded the then conventional marriages as mere financial arrangements which often caused great debt through dowry. Self-respect marriages, according to him, encouraged inter-caste marriages and caused arranged marriages to be replaced by love marriages.[42] Annadurai was also the first to use subsidising of the price of rice for election victory. He promised one rupee a measure of rice, which he initially implemented once in government, but had to withdraw later. Subsidising rice costs are still used as an election promise in Tamil Nadu.[43]

Madras State to Tamil Nadu (14 January 1969)

It was Annadurai's government that renamed the Madras State to its present-day form declaring officially as Tamil Nadu. The name change itself was first presented in the upper house (Rajya Sabha) of the Parliament of India by Bhupesh Gupta, a communist MP from West Bengal, but was then defeated.[44] With Annadurai as chief minister, the state assembly succeeded in passing the bill renaming the states.

Two language policy (1967)

Anna was instrumental in organising the World Tamil Conference under the aegis of UNESCO in 1967.[45] Another major achievement of Annadurai's government was to introduce a two language policy[which?] over the then popular three language formula. The three language formula, which was implemented in the neighbouring states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, entitled students to study three languages: the regional language, English and Hindi.[46]

World Tamil conference (1967)

It was during the period of his Chief Ministership that the Second World Conference was conducted on a grand scale on 3 January 1968.[47] Nevertheless, when a commemorative stamp was released to mark the Tamil conference, Annadurai expressed his dissatisfaction that the stamp contained Hindi when it was for Tamil.[48] Annadurai also issued an order for the removal of the pictures of gods and religious symbols from public offices and buildings.[47]

Karunanidhi's leadership (1969–2018)

After the unexpected passing of the founding leader CN Annadurai, a group of senior leaders headed by Madurai Muthu and Athithanar chose Karunanidhi as an interim leader over the other leadership contestant VR Nedunchezhilan. Thus DMK was headed by M. Karunanidhi from 1969 until his death on 7 August 2018.[9] He also served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for five terms.

Karunanidhi's Dmk five slogans (Aimperum Muzhakkam)

M. Karunanidhi in 1970 Anna's 1st anniversary, DMK statewide conference held in Trichy where five slogans were released at the conference. Those are:[49][50][51]

  1. The party always follows the footsteps of Annadurai,
  2. An egalitarian society will be formed,
  3. Forever, the party opposes the imposition of Hindi,
  4. Poverty will be overcome through a peaceful manner,
  5. Autonomy for state governments and Union government by coalition.
MGR faction

M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) who was a popular actor and the then party treasurer, the political feud between MGR and the party president Karunanidhi emerged as an aftermath of the latter calling himself "Mujib of Tamil Nadu". In 1972, MGR called for a boycott of the party's General Council. With the crisis falling into call for corruption probe by MGR where he was a treasurer, he was eventually suspended from the General Council by the high power committee of DMK. Thus emerged a new party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).[52]

Five terms Chief Minister

Karunanidhi became an MLA 13 times, five times chief minister and one time member of council in Tamil Nadu legislative assembly.

Kalaignar fought for the right of CM's to hoist the National Flag in a State

Karunanidhi secured right for chief ministers to unfurl Tricolour on Independence Day in 1974, he became first Tamil CM to do so. Karunanidhi secured a precious right for all the Chief Ministers from Indira Gandhi.[53][54][55][56]

Elections under Karunanidhi's presidency
  • In 1977, DMK lost the Assembly elections to MGR's AIADMK, and stayed out of power in the state till 1989.[57] After MGR's death in December 1987, AIADMK split into two factions between Janaki (MGR's wife) and Jayalalithaa. DMK returned to power in the 1989 State assembly elections and Karunanidhi took over as chief minister in January 1989.
  • in the 1991 election was held on the backdrop of DMK government dissolved within 2 years of formation due to pressure from Rajiv gandhi, in the same year Rajiv was killed by Human bomb during election campaign. Due to DMK's pro-Tamil stance and the dismissal of the state government mid way by Rajiv, people's presumption was against DMK and the sympathy wave in favour of AIADMK–Congress alliance and the DMK was deprived of any seats in the Parliament.
  • In the 1996 state elections, DMK came to power on strength of corruption charges against J.Jayalalithaa and the alliance with Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), headed by G.K. Moopanar and supported by cine actor Rajinikanth. However, in 2001, the AIADMK, on strength of a strong alliance and the incumbency factor against DMK, came back to power in the state assembly elections.
  • In the 2004 parliamentary elections, DMK formed an alliance with Congress, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and swept a grand Victory, the alliance winning all 40 seats including Puducherry. This enabled 7 ministerial posts in the Central government and influential power to DMK.
  • Two years later in 2006, the same alliance won in the state assembly elections and the DMK for the first time formed a minority government in the state with help from Congress. M Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister of the state for the fifth time. The DMK-Congress alliance was also successful in the 2009 parliamentary elections.
  • In the 2011 Assembly elections, held in the wake of the 2G case and allegations of nepotism, the DMK won only 23 seats, 127 seats less than earlier.
  • In the 2014 Lok Sabha election DMK failed to win any seats; however, by vote percentage, it was second only to AIADMK.
  • The 2016 state assembly elections gave DMK 89 MLAs. This was the most number for an opposition party in the history of the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly.

M. K. Stalin’s leadership (2018–present)

Karunanidhi died on 7 August 2018, leaving the party in the hands of his son, M. K. Stalin. Stalin had been appointed as the working president in January 2017 when Karunanidhi's health started declining, and had previously been named heir apparent by his father. Stalin thus became the second DMK president since the party's inception.[58] On 3 February 2020, M. K. Stalin announced that Prashant Kishor was signed up as a party strategist for the upcoming 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election.[59]

M.K. Stalin's DMK five slogans: (Aimperum Muzhakkam)
M.K. Stalin calls on the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on 4 July 2007.

M. K. Stalin on 25 March 2018 DMK statewide conference held in Erode where five slogans were released at the conference. Those are:[60][61][62]

  1. Let's keep an eye on the Kalaignar's command,
  2. Let us grow and admire Tamil,
  3. Let's crush the power pile,
  4. Let us protect the humanity from extremism,
  5. Let us grow a prosperous Tamil Nadu.
Elections under M.K. Stalin's presidency
2019 General Election – Secular Progressive Alliance

M.K. Stalin formed the Secular Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu under the United Progressive Alliance in the center and led the alliance in the 2019 general election.[63][64] MK Stalin and his alliance in Tamil Nadu won 39 out of 40 seats in the parliament and 12 out of 21 in the Assembly by-election with 52% vote share.[65][66]

2020 Tamil Nadu local body election (rural)

The DMK led alliance won the 2019 Tamil Nadu local body elections under the Secular Progressive alliance.[67][68]

2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Election

The DMK led Secular Progressive Alliance won the 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election. The alliance won 159 seats out of 234 seats with 46% vote share with the support of I-PAC by Prashanth Kishore.

Party ideology

Dravidian nationalism

The Anti-Hindi Imposition agitations of 1965 forced the central government to abandon its efforts to use Hindi as the only official language of the country; still, Hindi usage continued as Indian government employees are asked to write as much as 65% of the letters and memoranda in Hindi.[2]

State autonomy

After The Emergency invoked by Indira Gandhi, more state powers like school education and medical care were moved from state control to national control. At the state conference in Trichy after the death of C.N. Annadurai, M. Karunanidhi announced the adoption of the "state autonomy" principle to advocate for state self-governance. In April 1974, the DMK government brought in a resolution in the House urging the centre to accept the Rajamannar Committee recommendations on state autonomy and amend the Constitution of India to pave the way for a truly federal system.[2]

Social justice

The DMK reconstituted the disabled persons welfare board to Differently Abled Persons Departments and the changed official terms for transgender individuals to more respectful terms like Thirunangai and Thirunambi.[69]

Party symbol

The party's election symbol is the "sun rising from between two mountains", with a black and red flag often pictured. The symbol was inspired from leader and scriptwriter M. Karunanidhi's 1950s play Udaya Suryan, and is intended to signify the "rising" spirit of the Dravidian people.[70]

In the 1957 poll, the DMK was not recognised by the Election Commission. The party was grouped as independents and was not united by its rising sun symbol and were forced to contest under the rooster symbol.[71]

Election history

Parliament General elections in Tamil Nadu

Year Party leader Seats won Change in seats Percentage of votes Popular vote Outcome
1957 C.N. Annadurai
8 / 41
Increase 9 independent
1962 C.N. Annadurai
7 / 41
Decrease 1 18.64% 2,315,610 Opposition
1967 C.N. Annadurai
25 / 39
Increase 18 51.79% 7,996,264 government
1971 M. Karunanidhi
23 / 39
Decrease 2 55.61% 8,869,095 government
1977 M. Karunanidhi
1 / 39
Decrease 22 37.84% 6,758,517 Opposition
1980 M. Karunanidhi
16 / 39
Increase 15 55.89% 10,290,515 government
1984 M. Karunanidhi
2 / 39
Decrease 14 37.04% 8,006,513 Opposition
1989 M. Karunanidhi
0 / 39
Decrease 2 33.78% 8,918,905 Lost
1991 M. Karunanidhi
0 / 39
No Changes 27.64% 6,823,581 Lost
1996 M. Karunanidhi
17 / 39
Increase 17 54.96% 14,940,474 Government
1998 M. Karunanidhi
6 / 39
Decrease 11 42.72% 10,937,809 Opposition
1999 M. Karunanidhi
12 / 39
Increase 6 46.41% 12,638,602 Government
2004 M. Karunanidhi
16 / 39
Increase 4 57.40% 16,483,390 Government
2009 M. Karunanidhi
18 / 39
Increase 2 42.54% 12,929,043 Government
2014 M. Karunanidhi
0 / 39
Decrease 18 26.8% 10,243,767 Lost
2019 M. K. Stalin
24 / 39
Increase 24 52% Opposition

Tamil Nadu Assembly election

Year Party leader Seats won Change in seats Percentage of votes Popular vote Outcome
1957 C.N. Annadurai
15 / 205
Increase 15 independent
1962 C.N. Annadurai
50 / 205
Increase 37 27.10% 3,435,633 opposition
1967 C.N. Annadurai
137 / 234
Increase 87 40.69% 6,230,556 government
1971 M. Karunanidhi
184 / 234
Increase 47 48.58% 7,654,935 government
1977 M. Karunanidhi
48 / 234
Decrease 136 24.89% 4,258,771 opposition
1980 M. Karunanidhi
37 / 234
Increase 11 22.1% 4,164,389 opposition
1984 M. Karunanidhi
24 / 234
Decrease 13 29.3% 6,362,770 opposition
1989 M. Karunanidhi
150 / 234
Increase 116 37.89% 9,135,220 government
1991 M. Karunanidhi
2 / 234
Decrease 148 22.5% 5,535,668 others
1996 M. Karunanidhi
173 / 234
Increase 171 53.77% 14,600,748 government
2001 M. Karunanidhi
31 / 234
Decrease 142 30.90% 8,669,864 opposition
2006 M. Karunanidhi
96 / 234
Increase 65 26.50% 8,728,716 government
2011 M. Karunanidhi
23 / 234
Decrease 73 22.40% 8,249,991 others
2016 M. Karunanidhi
100 / 234
Increase 77 31.39% 13,670,511 opposition
2021 M. K. Stalin
159 / 234
Increase 59 39.7% 17,430,100 government


Year Election Votes polled Seats won
1974 3rd Assembly 47,823 2
1977 4th Assembly 30,441 3
1980 5th Assembly 68,030 14
1985 6th Assembly 87,754 5
1990 7th Assembly 101,127 9
1991 8th Assembly 96,607 4
1996 9th Assembly 105,392 7
2001 10th Assembly 83,679 7
2006 11th Assembly 7
2011 12th Assembly 3
2016 13th Assembly 2
2021 14th Assembly 154,858[72] 6[73]
Year Election Votes polled Seats won
1984 8th Lok Sabha 97,672 0
1989 9th Lok Sabha 157,250 0
1991 10th Lok Sabha 140,313 0
1996 11th Lok Sabha 183,702 0
1998 12th Lok Sabha 168,122 1

List of presidents of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

S.No Portrait Name
Tenure Duration
1 CN Annadurai.jpg C. N. Annadurai
17 September 1949 – 03 February 1969 20 years
2 Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi.jpg M. Karunanidhi
27 July 1969 – 7 August 2018 49 years, 11 days
3 Stalinmk.png M. K. Stalin
28 August 2018 – Incumbent 2 years, 289 days;

List of General Secretary of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

S.No Name
1. C. N. Annadurai
17 September 1949 – 3 February 1969
2. V. R. Nedunchezhiyan
4 February 1969 – 16 May 1977
3. K. Anbazhagan
(1922–2020 )
17 May 1977 – 7 March 2020
4. Durai Murugan
9 September 2020 – Incumbent

List of Treasurer of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

S.No Name Tenure
1. K.K.Neelamegam
2. M. Karunanidhi
3 M. G. Ramachandran 1969–1972
4 K. Anbazhagan 1972–1977
5 S. J. Sadiq Pasha 1977–1994
6. Arcot N. Veeraswami 12 May 1994 – 26 December 2008
7. M. K. Stalin 27 December 2008 – 27 August 2018
8. Durai Murugan 28 August 2018 – 3 September 2020
9. T. R. Baalu 9 September 2020 – Incumbent

List of Chief Ministers from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Chief Minister of Madras State

S.No Name
Tenure Days
1 C. N. Annadurai
6 March 1967–13 January 1969 680 days (2–Year's)

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

S.No Name
Tenure Days
1 C. N. Annadurai
14 January 1969–3 February 1969 20 days (in total 700)
2 V. R. Nedunchezhiyan (Acting Chife Minister)
(4 February 1969–9 February 1969) 5 days
3 M. Karunanidhi
1. (10 February 1969–4 January 1971)
2. (15 March 1971–31 January 1976)
3. (27 January 1989–30 January 1991)
4. (13 May 1996–13 May 2001)
5. (13 May 2006–15 May 2011)
6863 days (19–Year's)
4 M. K. Stalin
7 May 2021– Incumbent (2021–Presant)

Chief Minister of Pondicherry

S.No Name Tenure
1 M. O. H. Farook
(17 March 1969 – 3 January 1974)
2 M. D. R. Ramachandran (16 January 1980 – 24 June 1983)
(8 March 1990 – 3 March 1991)
3 R. V. Janakiraman
(26 May 1996 – 21 March 2000)

List of Deputy Chief Ministers from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

Member year
M. K. Stalin (29 May 2009 – 15 May 2011)

List of Leaders of Opposition

Tamil Nadu

Leaders of Opposition year
V. R. Nedunchezhiyan (1962–1967)
M. Karunanidhi (1977–1987)
K. Anbazhagan (2001–2006)
M. K. Stalin (2016 – 2021)


Leaders of Opposition year
Kuppusamy Gounder (1989–95)
R. V. Janakiraman (2001–06)
A.M.H.Nazeem (2006–11)

List of speakers of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

# Name Took office Left office Deputy Speaker
1. C. P. Chitrarasu 1970 1976
2. Si. Pa. Adithanar 17 March 1967 12 August 1968 Pulavar K. Govindan
3. Pulavar K. Govindan 22 February 1969 14 March 1971 G. R. Edmund
4. K. A. Mathiazagan 24 March 1971 2 December 1972 P. Seenivasan
5. P. Seenivasan (Acting Speaker) 2 December 1972 3 August 1973
6. Pulavar K. Govindan 3 August 1973 3 July 1977 N. Ganapathy
7. M. Tamilkudimagan 8 February 1989 30 June 1991 V. P. Duraisamy
8. P. T. R. Palanivel Rajan 23 May 1996 21 May 2001 Parithi Ilamvazhuthi
9. R. Avudaiappan 19 May 2006 15 May 2011 V. P. Duraisamy
10. M. Appavu 12 May 2021 K. Pitchandi

Current office bearers and prominent members

Member Position in government Party position
M. K. Stalin[74] Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Former Deputy Chief Minister President
Duraimurugan[75] Minister for Water Resources, MLA from Katpadi

General Secretary
T. R. Baalu[76] Member of parliament (Lok Sabha) and Former Union Minister for ship and roadways Treasurer and Party Lok Sabha Leader
K. N. Nehru[77] Minister for Municipal Administration, MLA from Tiruchirappalli West Principal Secretary
R. S. Bharathi[78] Member of parliament (Rajya Sabha), Former Chairman of Alandur Municipality Organization Secretary
I. Periyasamy[79] Minister for Co-operation, MLA from Aathoor Deputy General Secretary
Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan[80] Former Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Deputy General Secretary
Anthiyur P. Selvaraj Member of parliament, Former State Minister for Handloom Deputy General Secretary
K. Ponmudy Minister for Higher Education, MLA from Tirukkovilur Deputy General Secretary
A. Raja Member of parliament (Lok Sabha) and Former Union Minister Deputy General Secretary
T. K. S. Elangovan[81] Member of parliament (Rajya Sabha) Official Spokesperson
Kanimozhi Karunanidhi Lok Sabha Deputy Leader for DMK MPs crew,

Member of Parliament from Thoothukudi

Women's wing Secretary
Palanivel Thiyagarajan Minister for Finance and Human Resource Management, MLA from Madurai Central IT wing Seceratary
Udhayanidhi Stalin Member of Legislative Assembly from Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni Youth wing Secretary
Karthikeya Sivasenapathy Environment wing Secretary
T R B Rajaa Member of Legislative Assembly from Mannargudi NRI Wing Secretary

High level executive committee

Member Position in Government
Arcot N. Veeraswami Former State Minister
Suba Thangavelan Former State Minister
E. V. Velu Former State Minister
T. M. Selvaganapathy Former State Minister
K. C. Palanisamy Former State Minister
M. R. K. Panneerselvam Former State Minister
Tiruchi Siva Party Rajya Sabha Leader
S. Jagathrakshakan Former Union Minister
Dayanidhi Maran Former Union Minister
S. S. Palanimanickam Former Union Minister
M. Kannappan Former Union Minister
Pon. Muthuramalingam Former State Minister
M. P. Saminathan Former State Minister
L.Mookiah Former MLA

List of Union Cabinet Ministers from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

S.No Name
Portfolio Tenure Prime Minister
1. T. G. Venkatraman
(1931– 2013)
Minister of Road Transport and Highways

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

1 June 1996 – 19 March 1998

14 November 1997 10 December 1997

H. D. Deve Gowda

I. K. Gujral

2. Murasoli Maran
Minister of Commerce and Industry

Minister of Urban Development Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

13 October 1999 – 9 November 2002

6 December 1989 10 November 1989 1June 1996-19 March 1998

H. D. Dewe Gowda

Atal Bihari Vajpayee V. P. Singh

3. T. R. Baalu


Minister of Road Transport and Highways

Ministry of Shipping Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister of State for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Non-Conventional Energy Sources Minister of State (Independent Charge) of New and Renewable Energy

22 May 2004 – 22 May 2009

13 October 1999 21 December 2003 10 January 1998– 18 March 1998 1996–1998

Manmohan Singh

Atal Bihari Vajpayee H.D. Deve Gowda I.K. Gujral

4. Dayanidhi Maran
Minister of Textiles

Minister of Communications and Information Technology

28 May 2009 – 12 July 2011

22 May 2004 – 16 May 2007

Manmohan Singh
5. A. Raja
Minister of Communications and Information Technology

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Minister of State for Rural Development

16 May 2007 – 14 November 2010

23 May 2004 – 17 May 2007 30 September 2002 – 21 May 2004 13 October 1996 – 29 September 2000

H. D. Deve Gowda

I. K. Gujral Atal Bihari Vajpayee Manmohan Singh

6. S.S. Palanimanickam
Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance 2004–2013 Manmohan Singh
7. S. Regupathy
Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests 2004–2013
8. K. Venkatapathy
Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice 2004–2013
9. Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan
Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment 2004–2013
10. V. Radhika Selvi
Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs 2004–2013
11. M. K. Alagiri
Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers 13 June 2009 – 20 March 2013
12. M. Kannappan Minister of State (Independent Charge) of New and Renewable Energy 13 October 1999 – 30 December 2003 Atal Bihari Vajpayee

List of Tamil Nadu Cabinet Ministers from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Name Tenure
C.N. Annadurai 1967
V. R. Nedunchezhiyan 1967,1971
M. Karunanidhi 1967,1971,1989,1996,2006
K. Anbazhagan 1971,1989,1996,2006
Arcot N. Veeraswami 1989,1996,2006
Durai Murugan 1989,1996,2006,2021
M. K. Stalin 2006,2021
K. N. Nehru 1989,1996,2006,2021
K. Ponmudy 1989,1996,2006,2021
I. Periasamy 1996,2006,2021
S. J. Sadiq Pasha 1967,1971
Satyavani Muthu 1967,1971
S. Madhavan 1967,1971
N. V. Natarajan 1967,1971
Pongalur N. Palanisamy 1996,2006
Ko. Si. Mani 1996,2006
Veerapandy S. Arumugam 1996,2006
A. Rahman Khan 1996
Parithi Ilamvazhuthi 1996,2006
A. Govindasamy 1967
M. Muthuswamy 1967
K. A. Mathialagan 1967
K. Rajaram 1971
Anbil P. Dharmalingam 1971
S. P. Adithanar 1971
S. Ramachandran 1971
M. Kannappan 1971
O. P. Raman 1971
Dr. Ponmudi (alias) Deivasigamani 1996
M. Tamilkudimagan 1996
Nanjil K. Manoharan 1996
K Sundaram 1996
M. R. K. Paneerselvam 2006,2021
N. Suresh Rajan 2006
E. V. Velu 2006,2021
Suba Thangavelan 2006
K. K. S. S. R. Ramachandran 2006, 2021
T. M. Anbarasan 2006,201
K. R. Periyakaruppan 2006,2021
Thangam Thennarasu 2006,2021
S. N. M Ubayadullah 2006
T. P. M. Mohideen Khan 2006
N. Selvaraj 2006
Vellakoil Saminathan 2006,2021
Poongothai Aladi Aruna 2006
Geetha Jeevan 2006,2021
Tamilarasi 2006
K. P. P. Samy 2006
U. Mathivanan 2006
K. Ramachandran 2006,2021


The DMK party runs two newspapers, one in English and one in Tamil, namely The Rising Sun (weekly journal) and Murasoli (daily), respectively.[82]

Kalaignar TV is a channel started on 15 September 2007 and managed by Kanimozhi and Dayalu Ammal, the daughter and wife of Karunanidhi. The sister channels of Kalaignar TV are Isaiaruvi (music channel), Seithigal (news channel), Sirippoli (comedy channel), Kalaignar Asia and Chithiram (Tamil cartoon channel).[83]


Indira Gandhi dismissed the Karunanidhi government in 1976 based on charges of possible secession and corruption. The DMK government has been indicted by the Sarkaria commission for corruption in allotting tenders for the Veeranam drainage project.[84]

Connections with LTTE

The interim report of the Justice Jain Commission, which oversaw the investigation into Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, indicted Karunanidhi for abetting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).[85] The interim report recommended that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the DMK party be held responsible for abetting Rajiv Gandhi's murderers. The final report contained no such allegations.[86]

Allegations of nepotism

Karunanidhi's nephew, Murasoli Maran, was a Union Minister; however, it has been pointed out that he was in politics long before Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister in 1969.[87]

Many political opponents and DMK party senior leaders have been critical of the rise of M. K. Stalin in the party.He was appointed has Mayor and later as Deputy CM of TN. But some of the party men have pointed out that Stalin has come up on his own.[88]

Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi has been appointed as the Rajya Sabha MP.

Karunanidhi's nephew's son Dayanidhi Maran has been appointed has the central Minister.
 Karunanidhi's son-in-law has been appointed as the central minister in 2000's.

Karunanidhi's grandson, son of Stalin Udhayanidhi Stalin, has been appointed has the MLA of TN assembly.

Karunanidhi has been accused of helping Murasoli Maran's son Kalanidhi Maran, who runs Sun Network, India's second largest television network. According to Forbes, Kalanidhi is among India's richest 20, with $2.9 billion.[89]

It has been pointed out that Karunanidhi has hesitated to take action against his erring family members.[90]

Karunanidhi is also accused of allowing Azhagiri to function as an extraconstitutional authority in Madurai.[91] The Dinakaran newspaper case was handed over to the CBI. But the District and Sessions court acquitted all the 17 accused in that case.[92]


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