AIADMK puts up unity show, discusses strategy to deal with Dhinakaran in assembly
The party says there is no threat to the Edapaddi Palaniswami-led government amid speculation that many of its MLAs are in touch with rebel group led by TTV Dhinakaranindia Updated: Jan 03, 2018 19:34 IST
The ruling AIADMK on Wednesday tried to put up a show of unity by getting almost all its legislators to attend a pre-assembly session meeting where it discussed the floor strategy in the wake of rebel leader TTV Dhinakaran’s entry into the House.
Emerging from the meeting, held at the party headquarters, state fisheries minister D Jayakumar told media persons that 104 MLAs were present, while rest could not come as they were “preoccupied with other works.”
He said the absentees had taken permission from chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami to skip the meeting.
Tamil Nadu assembly session will commence on January 8 amid speculation that many AIADMK MLAs are in touch with sidelined party leader Dhinakaran after the latter’s victory in the RK Nagar assembly by-election held on December 21.
Dhinakaran, who was ousted from the party in September last year, contested as an Independent candidate.
Soon after the victory from the seat which was represented by former chief minister and AIADMK leader late J Jayalalithaa at the time of her death in December 2016, Dhinakaran said the mandate proved that he was the real successor of “Amma’s legacy” and that party supporters were with him.
The late leader was reverently called Amma (mother) by her supporters.
Jayakumar, however, denied that any of the legislators was in touch with the rebel camp led by Dhinakaran.
Neither Dhinakaran nor DMK leader MK Stalin could destabilise the government, he said after the meeting, which was addressed by Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
Despite downplaying Dhinakaran’s victory, the party advised the legislators not to be provoked by any criticism from the rebel leader
“Legislators were advised to maintain caution while dealing with Dhinakaran inside the assembly and not to give him any scope criticise the behaviour of the ruling party MLAs as that could go against the party’s image,” said an AIADMK MLA who attended the meeting.
“We will safeguard the assembly’s prestige,” he said adding “Dhinakaran cannot do anything. His presence in the assembly will have no impact. He is a one-man army.”
The party leaders also discussed the idea of owning a television channel and newspaper to propagate its views and government’s achievements.
During the previous session, speaker P Dhanpal had disqualified 18 MLAs supporting Dhinakaran, bringing down the effective strength of the House to 216 from 235.
The disqualified legislators have challenged the decision in the Madras High Court.
These MLAs had petitioned the then acting state governor C Vidyasagar Rao for a change of leadership of the AIADMK legislative party.
The winter session will commence with the customary address by state governor Banwarilal Purohit.