Split widens in AIADMK as MLAs visit Dinakaran

AIADMK leader T T V Dinakaran 
The political uncertainty in the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has taken a new turn with 25 MLAs and few other leaders having a separate meeting with the party deputy general secretary T T V Dinakaran. This comes a day after the senior ministers in the state expressed their allegiance to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, stating that they will keep Dinakaran and his relatives away from the party.

The split between the three factions — a faction led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam which demands party general secretary V K Sasikala and family to be ousted from the party, a faction led by Chief Minister Palaniswami that says Dinakaran and his relatives will be kept away from the party and the faction led by Dinakaran — is increasing with this. The Dinakaran faction argues that Dinakaran is still the deputy general secretary of the party, though he has earlier said that he will keep himself away from party activities.

V P Kalairajan, a former MLA who met Dinakaran today, told reporters that around 25 MLAs and other leaders met Dinakaran to discuss various party affairs since he wasn't in the city for some time. A sitting MLA said that the discussion was regarding the but that of only a few members.

The new government, which has completed 100 days of operations recently, has now started placing the picture of CM Palaniswami at the chambers of various ministers, which is said to be a move to emphasis the strength of the faction.

On Monday, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister D Jayakumar, said that the party and ministers are continuing with their April 17th decision to keep Dinakaran and his family out of party and Government. Palaniswami also met various MLAs on Tuesday.

Dinakaran, who was in jail related to a bribery case, returned from jail last week and on Monday met his aunt and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK's) General Secretary V K Sasikala at Bengalaru Jail. Dinakaran was arrested for allegedly trying to bribe the Election Commission officials for a favourable order on the party symbol of two leave.

The new development has weakened the strength of the party in the Tamil Nadu. Out of the 234 elected members in the Assembly, almost 122 MLAs were with the present government, while 12 MLAs were with the Panneerselvam faction, while the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has 89 seats, its ally Indian National Congress has eight and Indian Union Muslim League has one seat, apart from the Assembly Speaker, who is also from AIADMK.

Political experts say that if Dinakaran faction has around 25 MLAs, the Palanswami faction has the backing of only 97 seats, which will be close to the seats of the DMK ally put together.

Before his visit to Bengaluru to meet Sasikala, Dinakaran told the reporters in Chennai on Monday that he remains number two in the ruling AIADMK party and it is his duty to unite the party. Dinakaran said he would meet Sasikala not as a nephew but as her deputy and start working with her advice. It may be noted that Dinakaran, who was sacked by Jayalalithaa from the party, was reinstated by Sasikala as Deputy General Secretary before going to jail.

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