Guv arrives, to meet DMK delegation today
AS the fraternal feud within the ruling AIADMK plumbed to greater depths, the chorus for a trust vote is growing louder, with the principal opposition DMK meeting Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on Sunday morning. Dissenting MLAs within the ruling AIADMK, meanwhile, said they would meet the President if the Governor refused to grant them time.
A crucial meeting has been convened in Chennai on Monday, when senior leaders of the ruling factions are expected to take key decisions including convening the general council to initiate the process of expelling general secretary VK Sasikala. Amid this, a ruling party MLA dropped another bomb, suggesting that the House be dissolved to pave the way for fresh elections.
The cacophony within has only grown, with ousted deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran terming his rivals, Chief Minister ‘Edappadi’ K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, as betrayers. The latter faction hit back strongly, calling Dhinakaran a ‘blackmailer’.
THREE AIADMK MLAs and an MP in Cuddalore district alleged that T T V Dhinakaran had been attempting to lure them to his camp by enticing them with money, lucrative posts in the party and also ministerial berths.
After Vriddhachalam MLA V T Kalaiselvan switched to Dhinakaran camp on Friday, the other MLAs – N Murugumaran of Kattumannarkoil, K A Pandian of Chidambaram and Sathya Paneerselvam of Panruti - led by Cuddalore MP A Arunmozidevan jointly met reporters here on Saturday. All of them affirmed their loyalties to Edappadi K Palaniswami and strongly criticised Dhinakaran.
Arunmozidevan accused that Sasikala family had been proposing P Dhanapal’s name for Chief Minister’s post only to create a confusion in the party. “There are no caste or religious differentiations in AIADMK, but Sasikala’s family, who are not even the members of the party, are attempting to create a rift in the party on caste lines,” he charged.
“Everyday, Dhinakaran is removing many senior party functionaries appointed by Jayalalithaa. I have spoken to the functionaries removed by Dhinakaran over phone,” Arunmozidevan said. “Through political brokers, Dhinakaran is trying to lure other AIADMK MLAs. But he cannot succeed in it. All MLAs are standing firmly with Edappadi K Palaniswami’s government and I hope the MLAs in Dhinakaran’s camp will soon support Palaniswami.”
Arunmozidevan replied ambigu- ously on if he himself and the three MLAs accept Sasikala as party’s general secretary. “The matter is pending with the Election Commission. Let us see its decision first. Wherever the two leaves’ symbol is, we would be there,” he added.
The MP and the MLAs ruled out the interference of the Centre in their affairs. “Rumours are doing rounds that I am going to the Dhinakaran camp. That is not true. I will continue to support Palanisami’s government,” Kattummannarkoil MLA N Murugumaran said.
Legislators and MP from Cuddalore speaking to reporters on Saturday |