Day after AIADMK merger Dhinakaran camp cries foul

RSTV Bureau
File photo: AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran arriving to appear before Delhi police for questioning in connection with an alleged attempt to bribe an EC official for retaining the two leaves party symbol, at the Crime Branch office at Chanakyapuri in  New Delhi on Saturday.

File photo: AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran arriving to appear before Delhi police for questioning in connection with an alleged attempt to bribe an EC official for retaining the two leaves party symbol, at the Crime Branch office at Chanakyapuri in New Delhi on Saturday.

A day after the two rival faction of AIADMK merged, a group of AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to sidelined party leader TTV Dhinakaran met Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao in Chennai and sought the removal of Chief Minister K Palaniswami.

Dhinakaran called the merger a “betrayal” of party general secretary V K Sasikala.

“It is not a merger. It is a commercial agreement reached for self-interest and hunger for positions and to protect posts,” he said.

On Monday, the rivals factions led by Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam merged, ending a nearly seven-month feud in a power sharing formula in the ruling party and the government with the rebel leader being made the deputy chief minister.

On Monday, Panneerselvam was sworn-in by the Governor as the deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

“We don’t have confidence in the chief minister. What is the need to give the deputy chief minister’s post to Panneerselvam who had levelled charges of corruption against this government earlier,” an MLA, who was part of the team that met the governor, said requesting anonymity.

He said 122 AIADMK MLAs had supported Palaniswami at the behest of jailed party chief VK Sasikala during the February 18 trust vote while Panneerselvam had voted against the government.

He said the chief minister should have held consultations with all the party MLAs before the merger of the two factions.

“So we have briefed the governor and said that the chief minister should be removed,” the MLA added.

The MLA lashed out at Panneerselvam, alleging that he had accepted the merger “only for posts” and asked if this was the deputy chief minister’s “dharma yudh” as claimed by him earlier.

Yesterday, around 18 MLAs were reported to have attended a meeting held by Dhinakaran, the party’s deputy general secretary and nephew of party chief V K Sasikala, at his residence.

Of the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, AIADMK has 134 MLAs excluding the Speaker. Opposition DMK has 89 seats followed by its allies Congress with eight and IUML one seat.

Late chief minister Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar constituency is still vacant.

(With inputs from PTI)