The Dravida Munnetra Kazgham (DMK) is a Tamil Nadu-based political party that was founded in 1949 by C N Annadurai. For 20 years, Annadurai led the party and became the Chief Minister (CM) of Tamil Nadu in 1967.
However, after the death of Annadurai in 1969, a feud between M G Ramachandran (MGR) and Karunanidhi ensued. Karunanidhi, who was the party President, was accused of corruption by MGR. Karunanidhi expelled MGR from the DMK in 1972. MGR form the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazgham which became the arch-rival of DMK.
The DMK was ousted by the AIADMK in 1977 and was kept out of power returned to power in 1989. Rajiv Gandhi forced the dissolution of the state government in 1991 due to its pro-Tamil Eelam stance amid rising communal tensions in Sri Lanka. AIADMK won the Assembly elections held in June 1991. Gandhi was assassinated in the aftermath by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorists. Karunanidhi's party did not win a single seat in the following Lok Sabha elections.
In 1996, the DMK won the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu on the back allegations of corruption against Jayalalithaa. Power alternated between AIADMK and DMK till 2016 when the former won a consecutive term for the first time in decades.
Karunanidhi gave the party's reins to his younger son M K Stalin when the patriarch's health deteriorated. AIADMK handed DMK its worst defeat in Lok Sabha polls in 2014 by winning 37 seats out of 39. Karunanidhi's elder son Alagiri has staked his claim on the party's throne now and then, saying that the party hasn't fared well under Stalin. The 2019 Lok Sabha polls would be the first election the DMK fights after Karunanidhi's demise. It could set the tone for the party's political journey onwards.