Radhapuram MLA S. Michael Royappan’s meeting with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at Fort St. George on Saturday triggered shock waves among the DMDK cadre here.

Since the party cadres here used to consider Mr. Royappan as party leader ‘Vijaykant’s conscience’, the latest development has virtually jolted them. Mr. Royappan is seen as a down-to-earth character, who used to work in tandem with the party cadres at the grassroots level, and has created a firm base for his party in good number of villages in his constituency after he became MLA.

When asked whether he would join the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or back the ruling party in the Assembly, Mr. Michael Royappan told The Hindu over the phone from Chennai that it was too early to answer such questions.

“Even as I was struggling hard to execute the State Government’s welfare schemes in my constituency (Radhapuram), I had some misunderstanding with my leadership. When I was desperately waiting to air my grievances (pertaining to Radhapuram Assembly constituency) to the Chief Minister, I was given an opportunity to meet her. I have submitted my appeals to the Chief Minister for appropriate action,” he said.

On the rumour that a few more DMDK legislators would soon meet the Chief Minister, he said: “A good number of DMDK MLAs are waiting for an appointment with the Chief Minister”.

When Mr. Vijayakant visited the district last August for distributing welfare measures to the poor and assistance to churches here, Mr. Royappan, along with the party functionaries, had made arrangements for the function in a big way. The actor-turned-politician lauded the MLA’s efforts.

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