In a setback to the sidelined former deputy general secretary of AIADMK TTV Dhinakaran, a party MP from his camp switched sides on Friday, September 22 to extend support to the chief minister E Palaniswami.
M Vasanthi, the AIADMK MP from Tenkasi (SC), alleged that Dhinakaran had ‘aligned’ with the DMK to topple the ‘Amma government’, a reference to the AIADMK government.
This is the second MLA who has left the Dhinakaran faction and gone back to Palaniswami's camp.
Earlier, senior legislator STK Jakkaiyan returned to the camp of chief minister Palaniswami when the rebel MLAs were in a resort in Pondicherry.
This caused panic in the Dhinakaran camp. Close to 16 MLAs loyal to dhinakaran checked out of the resort and moved to Coorg in Karnataka.
The 18 MLAs who rebelled against the EPS-OPS camp were disqualified in the Tamil Nadu assembly by the Speaker Dhanapal on September 18.
While the MLAs have moved the court to fight the disqualification, dissatisfaction has been growing in the Dhinakaran camp.
It is alleged that Dhinakaran is afraid of an Income Tax raid on his properties and is trying to align with Tamil Nadu’s main opposition DMK.
“Is it fair for him (Dhinakaran) to say he will topple this government by aligning with the DMK. He has been repeatedly saying that and we don’t like it. The 1.5 crore supporters of the party are agitated over this,” Vasanthi said when asked about her switching sides.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Mr. Palaniswami here, she said the chief minister and his deputy Mr. O. Panneerselvam will take forward the public work left behind by Jayalalithaa and continue to deliver the various welfare schemes.
“Amma worked selflessly for the people. How can that government be toppled?” she questioned.
The MP felt that the pro-Dhinakaran MLAs staying at a resort in Coorg in Karnataka had been ‘imprisoned’ and asked if it was fair to do so as they were elected to serve the public.
This revelation shows that there could be dissent brewing in the Dhinakaran camp. The recent confession by senior AIADMK minister Dindigul Sreenivasan that they were forced to lie about the health of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa while she was in hospital puts Dhinakaran and his aunt Sasikala in bigger trouble.
Dhinakaran now has his hands full and his plans to ‘topple’ the Palaniswami government may not materialize anytime soon.