Chennai, Apr 19: In a dramatic development, the AIADMK (Amma) faction on Tuesday decided to “de-link” the party and the government from deputy general secretary T T V Dhinakaran and his family.
The decision, taken at a meeting chaired by CM K Palaniswami, came a few hours after leader of the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction and former CM O Panneerselvam ruled out a merger if jailed AIADMK (Amma) general secretary V K Sasikala, her nephew Dhinakaran and her family are not kept out of the party.
“We have decided to keep Dhinakaran away from the party after taking views of senior leaders and functionaries,” said Finance Minister D Jayakumar. It was still not clear whether Sasikala will be removed from the party or not.
The minister also pointed out that the late chief minister Jayalalithaa and party founder M G Ramachandran were always against family rule. “We have based our decision on that,” said Jayakumar.
Stating that the ministers have decided to save the party and its “two leaves” symbol, Jayakumar said a committee would be formed for holding talks with Panneerselvam for the merger.
To make the patch-up easier, the minister said, “We are ready for talks with Panneerselvam. We are waiting for it.”
When asked about Panneerselvam’s another demand, a judicial enquiry into Jayalalithaa’s death, Jayakumar said, “Everything will be discussed.”
But some MLAs are still backing Dhinakaran. Sattur MLA S G Subramanian told reporters that Dhinakaran is their leader and the party deputy general secretary. The legislators were bound only by his directions, he added.
A few MLAs, including P Vetrivel, said that Jayakumar does not have the authority to make such an announcement. “How can Jayakumar make the announcement without consulting Dhinakaran. There is no clarity. We have to wait and see,” said Vetrivel.
Dhinakaran, who returned to Chennai early on Tuesday from Bengaluru, is yet to express his views on the developments. With this, there are three factions in Tamil Nadu headed by Palaniswami, Panneerselvam and Dhinakaran (Sasikala).
In the Tamil Nadu Assembly, the Sasikala faction earlier enjoyed the support of 122 MLAs and Panneerselvam 12. The present tally is not clear.