TTV Dhinakaran's close aide on way out

Amid speculations that senior AMMK leader Thangatamilselvan was planning to jump ship, party founder TTV Dhinakaran Tuesday announced his once trusted lieutenant would be sacked.

The development came a day after an audio clip in which Thangatamilselvan, Propaganda Secretary of AMMK, purportedly criticised Dhinakaran in strong words, went viral.

Speculations have been rife that the two were not on good terms following the party's drubbing in the April 18 Lok Sabha polls where it drew a blank and Thangatamilselvan, who himself lost from Theni constituency, was eyeing to quit the party.

Speaking to reporters here Tuesday after consulting senior party colleagues, Dhinakaran said he had earlier reprimanded Thangatamilselvan, a former MLA, after he received "some complaints" against him.

"I had earlier warned him he may be replaced as propaganda secretary...I have no fear or hesitation in removing anyone. In the coming weeks, we will release the list of senior office-bearers after meeting Chinnamma (deposed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala) in Bengaluru (prison)," he said.

Sasikala, aunt of Dhinakaran, is undergoing a four-year jail term in a corruption case.

Asked if Thangatamilsevlan will be removed from just his post or from the primary membership, Dhinakaran said "it includes everything."

Dhinakaran also said he had recently told his colleague he can go wherever he wanted, apparently joining another party.

He accused Thangatamilsevlvan of acting at the behest of someone else, saying "they are giving instructions to him to attack me and he is doing that."

The AMMK leader, an MLA, also said he would vote in support of a DMK-sponsored resolution in the Tamil Nadu assembly seeking removal of Speaker P Dhanapal.

"We have to vote in favour of the resolution because he (Speaker) had disqualified our 18 mlas...he had not acted in a fair manner. We will indeed vote against him," he said.

The AIADMK MLAs, loyal to Dhinakaran, were disqualified in September 2017 under the anti-defection law after they revolted against Chief Minister K Palaniswami.

DMK has moved the resolution against the Speaker on April 30 after he served notices to three other pro-Dhinakaran AIADMK MLAs for alleged anti-party activities. It is likely to be taken up on July 1 during the coming session.

Meanwhile, the beleaguered Thangatamilselvan, one of the 18 disqualified MLAs, said there were certain intra-party issues which he wanted to be sorted out.

"Let them expel me if I committed any wrongdoing," he told a Tamil TV channel.

Thangatamilselvan, who represented Andipatti segment, had sided with Dhinakaran after Palaniswami merged the faction led by him with that of then rebel leader O Panneerselvam in 2017.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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