M K Stalin, son of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, became the first working president of the party . With the 93-year-old DMK patriarch ailing and the party requiring a full-time president, the party finally decided to anoint the prince-in-waiting Stalin as the working president.
The party's 3,500-member general council unanimously approved 63-year-old Stalin's elevation by amending the party bylaw. An emotional Stalin said he was accepting the post with a heavy heart as his father and Thalaivar was unwell. The council also conferred all powers of the party president on Stalin. While Karunanidhi could not make it to the meeting, his 94-year-old party colleague and general secretary K Anbazhagan was present.