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27 May 2019, Edition - 1413, Monday

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Coimbatore

Tamil Nadu political potboiler taking a suspense-full turn

Covai Post Network

With AIADMK heading towards a three-way split, Rajinikanth (egged on by the BJP) is only waiting for the opportune moment to strike and enter political arena. Meanwhile, the EPS, OPS and Dhinakaran camps slug it out further weaken the party.

Chennai: Feeling slighted by the ministers and the chief minister, the TTV Dhinakaran group has begun hitting out in a bid to assert itself and to retain its relevance in Tamil Nadu politics that is being seen increasingly being driven from Delhi.

A close associate of Dhinakaran, Vetrivel launched a diatribe against the chief minister and his supporters for attempts to keep TTV an Chinnamma out of the party and government. “There will be serious consequences for the EPS government,” said this key Dhinakaran supporter adding that there was a limit to the patience of the Chinnamma followers.

Dhinakaran was ignored by the chief minister at the Iftar party he hosted, sending a clear cut message to him and his supporters that they do not matter much in the new scheme of things.

Dhinakaran’s camp claims the support of some 30 to 40 MLAs and is itching for a showdown, which is likely to be soon. He has already given a 60 day deadline to the EPS camp to fall in line, or else kind of a threat.

But EPS seems to have ignored these kind of threats and pledged the AIADMK support to NDA presidential candidate after prime minister Narendra Modi sought it. He did not think it fit to discuss the issue with either Sasikala or Dhinakaran, sending another signal to the “bosses” as to who was running the show now.

Incidentally, Lok Sabha deputy speaker tried to convey an impression that the AIADMK was supporting NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind as per Sasikala’s instructions. This was countered strongly by Edapaddi Palanisami who was present in Delhi in person to extend support to the presidential candidate.

Dhinakaran’s supporters meanwhile are having a go at the Edapaddi Palanisami for his silence over the statements by MPs and MLAs to keep Sasikala and Dhinakaran out only highlights the intense infighting within the AIADMK that was held together by former chief minster J Jayalalithaa. Her death has for sure turned the party into a battle zone with at least three different factions pulling it in different directions.

MLAs supporting Dhinakaran have been staging walk out in assembly, along with opposition DMK and its allies, bringing out into the open what was a closed door battle for supremacy within the party and government.

Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai, who was among the ones who called on Sasikala inside Bangalore jail recently, had said that no one could remove her from party post and she remains the leader of the party.

This assertion is not shared by others in the AIADMK, which is clearly now divided. The EPS camp, is firmly behind the chief minister with the sole interest of keeping the government alive and kicking. For this reason itself, majority of AIADMK MLAs would be with the person holding fort and seat of power.

Then there is the uncertainty that film superstar Rajinikanth has injected to the political sphere in Tamil Nadu.

His entry is going to change the dynamics and political equations across Tamil Nadu and smaller parties could vanish from the field – especially those with smaller vote share. Captian Vijayakanth’s DMDK as also Vaiko’s MDMK are some of the parties that face a bleak future if and when Rajinikanth steps into the political arena.

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