It was a show of strength today by sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran who named his party after late leader J Jayalalithaa and unveiled its flag amid thousands of cadres who hailed him as the next Tamil Nadu "chief minister". Naming his party "Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam" at an event here, Dhinakaran said the new outfit would capture power in the state.
Dhinakaran, who has the support of several dissident party workers and leaders, arrived in style in an open-top van acknowledging greetings from several supporters who had lined-up on streets in Melur with placards sporting his image. Several party workers gave him the traditional 'poornakumbham', considered auspicious and a sign of respect. It has mango leaves and a coconut in a decorated traditional vase or pot. Banners and hoardings hailing Dhinakaran as the "future chief minister" were put up at several roads and junctions.
Former ministers V Senthil Balaji and P Palaniappan, senior leader S Anbazhagan, disqualified MLAs and Dhinakaran loyalists, including P Vetrivel and Thanga Tamil Selvan, attended the event. Giant hoardings of Dhinakaran along with AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran (MGR), Jayalalithaa, Dravidian icon C N Annadurai, and jailed leader V K Sasikala were also put up at the event. The venue had a green backdrop (Jayalalithaa's favourite colour).
As soon as he arrived, a popular yesteryear number from an MGR film 'vangaiyya vathiyar ayya', (welcome our leader) was played. Dhinakaran paid floral tributes to MGR and Jayalalithaa. Notwithstanding the move, he had said yesterday that his camp has not given up its right over the two-leaves symbol.
Cadres at the event claimed that it "overshadowed" party functions, including the Ilangyar Pasarai-Illam Pengal Pasarai at Theni, held by "betrayers" (ruling AIADMK led by K Palaniswami). The 'pasarai,' event had witnessed an attendance of about 50,000 cadres, according to the ruling AIADMK.