August 5, 2017
‘Chinnamma’ Sasikala tries to run party from Parappana Agrahara jail in Bengaluru. Her nephew called on her before beginning to take control of party affairs.
Chennai: Jailed AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala’s nephew, TTV Dinakaran, has begun flexing his political muscle by throwing a spanner in the merger of the two AIADMK factions led by chief minister Edapaddi Palanisami and former chief minister O Panneerselvam. But in an indication of growing clout of the Mannargudi family, his actions are being challenged – even rejected by party rank and file.
At least three MLAs who were appointed as office bearers by Dinakaran rejected the posts offered to them saying they were happy being MLAs and did not want the posts given by a leader whose official status was under question and doubt. On Saturday, his decision of recasting office bearers has been questioned by leaders belonging to the faction led by chief minister EPS.
If Dinakaran was thus slighted, he was also forced to backtrack on his announced plan to enter party headquarters and take command. After the place was fortified with Tamil Nadu police, Dinakaran beat a retreat, but maintained that it was his right to visit the party office as and when he wanted.
Instead of insisting on party meet that he had convened, Dinakaran announced a state-wide tour, to “strengthen the party to face elections unitedly.”
Dinakaran’s moves come as a dampener to BJP moves to get the two factions together and get the unified entity into the NDA fold.
Ever since the demise of former chief minister JJayalalithaa, the BJP has been trying to enter Tamil Nadu and thought it fit to get into an understanding with the AIADMK to grow its base here. But its attempt to get the two factions to merge is getting longer to achieve as the two sides play hardball.
Former chief minister Panneerselvsam has stepped up the ante with a call for a state-wide protest against the EPS government on net Thursday.
Interestingly, Dinakaran has released a list of 60 office bearers that included 20 MLAs. Of these three declined the party posts. K. Palani, MLA from Sriperumbudur said he was happy being an MLA, a post given by Jayalalithaa and did not want any other post.
A senior minister derisively dismissed Dinakaran as a spent force and claimed that he had but a handful of MLAs with him.