AIADMK merger: Dinakaran steps aside, says no regrets on being sidelined

By Rob 0

Chennai: Minutes after claiming that there was no opposition against him from the party, T.T.V. Dinakaran, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) deputy general secretary, said he has stepped aside and has no regrets on being sidelined.

“They (ministers) have sidelined me and I have kept myself away from the party affairs. If they would have informed me about the decision, I would have announced my decision earlier,” said Dinakaran on Wednesday.

He said the ministers have taken a decision out of “some fear”. “I appeal to them never malign the party and will never be an obstacle for the welfare for the party and the government,” Dinakaran added.

After Dinakaran’s announcement, former chief minister O. Panneerselvam said that keeping away V.K. Sasikala’s family from the AIADMK is the first victory. “Both the factions will now discuss and decide as per the wishes of the cadres and the people,” he said.

While senior ministers on Tuesday night decided to oust Sasikala and her nephew Dinakaran, at least eight MLAs extended their support to Dinakaran earlier in the day.

Dinakaran, who has called for a meeting of all the MLAs and district secretaries at 3pm on Wednesday at the AIADMK headquarters, said earlier, “All MLAs are still with us. There is no opposition for me within the party.”

“Nobody has to sideline me. I know what decisions to take in the interest of the party and the government,” he said.

On Tuesday night, following discussions with Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, minister for finance and fisheries D. Jayakumar had said, “V.K. Sasikala, her nephew T.T.V. Dinakaran and her family would be sidelined from the party affairs, as this is the wish of the 1.5 cadres of AIADMK and the people of Tamil Nadu.”

“We will stand united to safeguard the party and the two leaves symbol of the party,” he added.

This came in hours after Panneerselvam asserted that the expulsion of Sasikala, Dinakaran and other family members was necessary for the merger of the AIADMK.

Also Read: AIADMK merger on the cards, with Sasikala, TTV Dinakaran sidelined

The ouster of Sasikala and Dinakaran has not gone well with some of the legislators.

“Dinakaran is an undisputed leader and he is the one who can decide on the direction of AIADMK,” said senior leader Nanjil Sampath.

He added: “The decisions taken by ministers and others is due to the pressure from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). They fear IT raids.”

MLA P. Vetrivel, another Dinakaran loyalist, who alleged that Panneerselvam was eyeing the chief minister’s post and some of the key portfolios, said, “Our general secretary is Sasikala and our deputy general secretary is TTV.”

Also Read: AIADMK merger rumours swirl amid TTV Dinakaran EC bribe issue

In February, when the feud was brewing between the Sasikala camp and Panneerselvam, after a meeting at the AIADMK headquarters, over 100 AIADMK MLAs were packed off in buses to a private resort by the Sasikala faction, on the outskirts of Chennai, presumably to prevent horse-trading.

Panneerselvam had in February rebelled against Sasikala, alleging that he was forced to resign so that she becomes the chief minister of the state. Since then, the ruling party of Tamil Nadu has been in a disarray.

While Sasikala was elevated as the general secretary of the party in December, she appointed her nephew Dinakaran as the deputy general of the AIADMK, hours before her surrender at a Bengaluru jail following her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.

However, in an interim order last month, the Election Commission (EC) ruled neither faction of the AIADMK could use the party name and symbol in the RK Nagar bypoll slated for 12 April, which was later rescinded due to allegations of cash for vote.

First Published: Wed, Apr 19 2017. 11 43 AM IST