Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi on Thursday officially named MK Stalin as his political successor ending speculations over handing over the reigns to MK Stalin. A political tussle between MK Stalin and brother MK Alagiri had been on for long over who will take charge of the party.

Following his difference with MK Stalin during the last assembly elections, Alagiri, had announced a split from the party.

Karunanidhi said his son Stalin has arduously worked his way up to be the second-in command in the party. In an interview to a Tamil weekly, the 92 year-old patriach said Stalin has made sacrifices like going to jail during the Emergency.

Karunanidhi also recalled how his son had started off at a young age by running the Gopalapuram Youth Club.

“From his prison days where he faced a lot of hardships, he has himself worked very hard and elevated himself systematically to the position of future president (of DMK). In that aspect, he remains my political heir apparent today,” Karunanidhi said.

Asked if he viewed the “absence” of Alagiri, dismissed from DMK, as a “loss”, Karunanidhi indicated there was no point talking about those who were not in the party.

“One has to be happy with what is there and keep progressing, and feeling about those who are not in the party now will impede the journey,” he said.

Succession issue had been a major bone of contention in the DMK’s first family, involving Chennai-based Stalin and his elder brother Alagiri.

Meanwhile, Stalin refrained from making any comments on his father’s statement. “I have nothing to say,” he said.