AIADMK (Amma) deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran will convene a meeting with loyal MLAs and office-bearers on Wednesday afternoon in a desperate attempt to retain the political clout enjoyed by the VK Sasikala clan in the party until a few days ago.
The ruling party had ejected Dinkaran and his aunt, Sasikala, from active participation in its affairs on Tuesday night. At the same time, around eight MLAs and a few of Dinakaran’s die-hard supporters dwelt on ways to thwart the proposed merger between the rival AIADMK factions at his residence. Soon afterwards, Perambur MLA P Vetrivel told mediapersons around 1 am that a handful of ministers had no power to take decisions on behalf of the AIADMK (Amma) without the knowledge and concurrence of party in-charge Dinakaran.
“All 122 MLAs are with us,” he claimed, dismissing reports of a potential merger between the AIADMK (Amma) and the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalavi Amma) as “mere talk”.
However, several MLAs of the ruling group failed to turn up at Dinakaran’s residence on a day when a police team from Delhi arrived in the city to grill him in connection with the alleged attempt to bribe election commission officials for securing the party’s original two-leaves symbol.
Dinakaran is also scheduled to appear in the Egmore district court in connection with a FERA case on Wednesday. The court has asked him to appear in person.
“There is no revolt in the party. All MLAs are with me,” Dinakaran told mediapersons before leaving for the court appearance. According to government sources, police may be asked to prevent him from holding a meeting inside the party headquarters.
Meanwhile, the decks have been cleared for formal talks between the two AIADMK factions despite Dinakaran’s resistance. The ruling group — led by chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami — has announced that Sasikala and her family would be kept out of government and party affairs, one of the preconditions laid down by the O Panneerselvam faction for merger talks to move ahead.