DEEPA JAYAKU­MAR VS TTV DI­NAKARAN

Dina’s rein­tro­duc­tion kind of as­sur­ance for 125 MLAs; Jayaku­mar role not yet clear

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics Important Players - Bha­rani.Vaitheesvaran @times­group.com

Chen­nai: The stage is set for a face­off be­tween Deepa Jayaku­mar, the late Jay­alalithaa’s niece, and TTV Di­nakaran, VK Sasikala’s nephew, in Tamil Nadu pol­i­tics.

A day af­ter Jayaku­mar hit the po­lit­i­cal road with care­taker CM O Pan­neer­sel­vam, Sasikala ap­pointed Di­nakaran as the deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary of the AIADMK. In the late 1980s, Di­nakaran had backed Jay­alalithaa in her move to stake claim to the party lead­er­ship. He fell in and out of favour with her, but al­ways found a way back through his links with Sasikala. He ac­com­pa­nied Sasikala when she met the gov­er­nor last week, in­di­cat­ing his up­ward climb.

Af­ter his ex­pul­sion from the party six years ago, Di­nakaran’s rein­tro­duc­tion is a kind of as­sur­ance for the 125 leg­is­la­tors holed up and anx­ious at the re­sort. “We wel­come this be­cause this sends a sig­nal that the party lead­er­ship has not changed with the im­pris­on­ment of our Chin­namma,” Sasikala camp leg­is­la­tor JKN Ra­ma­jeyalingam of Jayankon­dam told ET. Asked if Di­nakaran’s sud­den el­e­va­tion would de­mor­alise se­niors, he said: “This has hap­pened even dur­ing the times of Amma (Jay­alalithaa). When the party is go­ing through a dan­ger like this, one can­not prop one­self above the party,” he said.

Jayaku­mar, the face of op­po­site camp, burst onto the scene as the news of Jay­alalithaa’s grave ill­ness spread. She made an ap­pear­ance at the g ates of Apollo Hos­pi­tals, only to be tur ned away. But her pres­ence fren­zied the cadre. “Her stand­ing is that she is the for­mer CM’s niece. Whether she will be the face of elec­toral cam­paigns is too early to say,” a key mem­ber of the OPS camp told ET on the con­di­tion of anonymity.

In Jan­uary this year, the Madras HC up­held an or­der con­vict­ing Di­nakaran of vi­o­lat­ing for­eign ex­change reg­u­la­tions and con­firmed a`28-crorepenalty.“The­money­has not been re­cov­ered yet. The only way is for him to pay up,” said Uday Bhaskar, re­gional spe­cial di­rec­tor, En­force­ment Direc­torate, which has also taken up the le­gal route to re­trieve the money.

When the party is go­ing through a dan­ger like this, one can­not prop one­self above the party: A Sasikala camp leg­is­la­tor

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