September 8, 2017
Chennai: A rattled TTV Dinakran carted all his precious cargo – MLAs supporting him away from the easy reach of EPS-OPS combine into another Congress ruled fort of Karnataka – Coorg to be precise after one MLA ‘defected’ to chief minister Edapaddi Palanisami camp.
The development came as a shock to Dinakaran who has been threatening to activate all the sleeper cells to fell the EPS government, something that some of the MLAs in his grip are against. At least nine MLAs with him are wary of making any move that will help the DMK in any way.
Just before packing off his MLAs to Coorg, Dinakaran maintained a confident posture, and had even called on governor asking him to check ‘horse trading’ that he alleged was going on. He also complained that MLAs were being threatened by EPS-OPS combine.
Amid this intra party battle, speaker P Dhanpal issued yet another notice to the 19 MLAs who declared that they lost faith in EPS in a letter to the governor to come personally and explain their stance, that was against the official party line. The MLAs have been asked to come and explain on September 14.
There are speculations that these MLAs could face disqualification for going against party decision of supporting Edapaddi Palanisami as the chief minister.
Meanwhile, the general council meeting is slated for September 12, during which the party could remove Sasikala as the general secretary, which explains the revolt by her nephew Dinakaran. Meanwhile, his supporter P Vetrivel moved the Madras High court seeking a direction restraining EPS and OPS camp from holding general council meeting.
The chief minister, in the meanwhile, asserted that Dinakaran will never succeed in snatching party and government through the means he was adopting. He claimed that he had adequate numbers on his side. Fisheries minister D Jayakumar said that 111 MLAs attended the last meeting and at least 9 from Dinakaran camp were in touch with them.
Palanisami himself claimed the support of 124 MLAs and went about his duties calmly without getting perturbed over Dinakaran’s claims. He also laughed at the statements of DMK working president MK Stalin and said that everyone has the right to dream.