Dhinakaran camp continues to chip away at Edappadi camp

Rajenthra Bhalaji declares support for Sasikala; rebel groups say government will not fall

June 08, 2017 12:46 am | Updated 12:24 pm IST - CHENNAI

T.T.V. Dhinakaran

T.T.V. Dhinakaran

As the rift between AIADMK (Amma) deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami widened, five more legislators met Mr. Dhinakaran at his residence and expressed solidarity with him, taking the number of MLAs supporting him to 32.

Significantly, Dairy Development Minister K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji went on record saying there was nothing wrong in legislators meeting Mr. Dhinakaran. Responding to questions from journalists, he said, “There is nothing wrong in our MLAs calling on Mr. Dhinakaran, who is the deputy general secretary of the party.” Asked who the party’s leader was, he responded, “only Chinnamma [jailed general secretary V.K. Sasikala].”

Mr. Bhalaji’s stand was in contrast to the earlier appeal made by his senior Cabinet colleague and Finance Minister D Jayakumar to party cadres not to have any association with the “sidelined” deputy general secretary or his family members.

Mr. Jayakumar made the appeal after a meeting of around 20 Ministers and senior party functionaries chaired by him unanimously decided to reiterate their opposition to Mr. Dhinakaran or his associates playing any active role in the party or the government.


However, MLAs supporting Mr. Dhinakaran said they would not withdraw support to Mr. Palaniswami’s government. Likewise, Mr. O Panneerselvam, leader of the AIADMK (PTA), said his party would not be responsible for the fall of the government.

Tiruparankundram MLA A.K. Bose, who called on Mr. Dhinakaran, hit out at Ministers for seeking to sideline the latter. “The Ministers don’t have any right to talk about party affairs. They can only talk about their respective departments. Only the general secretary has the authority to talk about party affairs,” he said after meeting Mr. Dhinakaran.

Electricity Minister P. Thangamani told The Hindu that despite 32 MLAs extending support to Mr. Dhinakaran “there is no threat to the government”.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. on Thursday ahead of the start of the Assembly session on June 14. Observers say the fissures in the AIADMK may well play out on the floor of the legislature.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.