DEEPA JAYAKUMAR VS TTV DINAKARAN
Dina’s reintroduction kind of assurance for 125 MLAs; Jayakumar role not yet clear
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