Ruling AIADMK faction snubs Dinakaran

Chennai: In an escalation of differences in the ruling AIADMK (Amma), its Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran on Monday questioned the diktat of Chief Minister K Palaniswami's camp that he keep away from party work.

While he was in Delhi's Tihar jail, Chief Minister Palanisamy appears to have gotten used to the idea of running the show, rather than be Sasikala or Mr Dinakaran's proxy.

The leader was recently released on bail by a Delhi court last week in a case of allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official to wrest the AIADMK's "two leaves" symbol.

According to sources, Sasikala and Dhinakaran discussed the political developments in Tamil Nadu and the Centre.

With the latest crisis threatening majority status of the government, a group of ministers from Palaniswami faction met him on Monday to take stock of issues, and emerged more stridently opposed to the Sasikala family. Recalling this, Mr. Jayakumar said: "He should stand by his decision".

"Supporters are our wealth and we work according to their will", he said.

MLA Vetrivel, reiterating Dhinakaran's point said, "Sasikala is the GS and Dhinakaran is the Deputy GS".

Pointing out that Dinkaran himself stated that he would stay away from party activities, Jayakumar urged him to "stick to his words". "Our party cadre are also clear", Mr. Jayakumar said, flanked by several ministers.

He said he will not step down unless the party general secretary asked him to.

The 60 days deadline is not just for Sasikala or Dinakaran but to party members who have jumped ships.

But the minister who spoke on conditions of anonymity said that Health Minister Dr C Vijaya Baskar, seen as close to Sasikala, "refused to join us" for Monday's meeting with the CM.

Reacting to Dhinakaran's assertion that he will continue party work, Jayakumar said it was the party's unanimous view to hold on to its stand of having no dealings with Dhinakaran, party general secretary V K Sasikala and their associates.

"We are leading Amma's government without anybody being in the background there is no doubt about it", he said.

  • Leroy Wright