Dhinakaran announces new office-bearers, set to tour T.N.

‘64 functionaries, including 20 MLAs, approved by Sasikala’

Published - August 04, 2017 11:59 pm IST - CHENNAI

T.T.V. Dhinakaran. File

T.T.V. Dhinakaran. File

Ratcheting up the political temperature, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, deputy general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Amma), on Friday announced his plan to tour different parts of the State and appointed 64 persons, including 20 MLAs, to different positions in the party.

On Tuesday, D. Jayakumar, Fisheries Minister, said both the party and the government were functioning under the leadership of Mr. Palaniswami. The move was seen as an attempt to sideline Mr. Dhinakaran.

Mr. Dhinakaran’s tour will begin from Melur in Madurai district on August 14 and culminate in Sivaganga on October 5. Asked if he would invite Mr. Palaniswami to attend his programmes, Mr. Dhinakaran answered in the affirmative.

To another query, he said it was the jailed general secretary, V.K. Sasikala, who chose Mr. Palaniswami to head the government.

Among the new appointees were legislators P. Palaniappan, V. Senthil Balaji, “Thoppu” N.D. Venkatachalam and S.T.K. Jakkaiyan (organising secretaries), A.K. Bose (joint secretary, agriculture wing), S. Muthiah (chief, health wing) and K. Kathirkamu (deputy, health wing).

K.P. Krishnan and C. Shanmugavelu, former Ministers, and Sarubala Thondaman, former Tiruchi Mayor, have been made organising secretaries, while Nanjil Sampath is deputy propaganda secretary.

Mr. Dhinakaran said that only the general secretary of the party had the power to appoint someone to a position or remove a person from the given position. Mr. Dhinakaran added that his move had the approval of jailed general secretary V.K. Sasikala. The appointments were made to prepare the party for the Lok Sabha polls to be held in 2019.

He said he “stepped aside” from party work in mid-April following certain observations of some ministers, who, he knew very well even then, would not be able to bring about rapprochement between the AIADMK (Amma) and the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma). He too had been making attempts towards this direction in the last few months, he said.

‘Fear of BJP’

Reiterating that some ministers might have made statements favouring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out of fear, he said “Mr. Jayakumar must be suffering from greater fear.”

On the decision to support the BJP nominee Ram Nath Kovind for the presidential election, Mr. Dhinakaran contended that this was done “in the interests of Tamil Nadu” as cooperation with the ruling party at the Centre was required. As for the alliance with the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections, he said it was “premature” to talk about it.

Despite several attempts to contact him, Mr. Jayakumar was not available for comment. Dindigul C. Sreenivasan, Forests Minister and treasurer of the party, said he heard the development only from the media and he required time to react.

Another minister, speaking on the condition of anonymity, wondered why Mr. Dhinakaran appointed only 64 persons. “Is he able to muster only 20 MLAs?” the Minister asked.

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