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Tamil Nadu minister dismisses chances of merger with Dhinakaran faction

Dhinakaran had said he is ready to merge with the faction led by Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam if they agree to drop a few ministers from the state cabinet and appoint one of the MLAs from his camp to the top post.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2018 16:40 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
TTV Dhinakaran,AIADMK,RK Nagar
Supporters of AIADMK hold the party's ‘two leaf’ symbol at an election campaign rally. (REUTERS File)

Tamil Nadu fisheries minister D Jayakumar on Wednesday questioned rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran’s “fantastic demands” about the change of leadership in the government as he scotched speculations about a merger with the faction led by the RK Nagar legislator.

Jayakumar also asserted that Dhinakaran will never be allowed to return to the AIADMK.

“He is living in fools’ paradise. Dhinakaran is acting in tandem with the DMK to destabilise the government and he will fail,” Jayakumar said while speaking to the media in Chennai.

The wobbly Tamil Nadu government led by Edapaddi Palaniswami has come under attack from the rebel faction led by Dhinakaran. Dhinakaran, who is on a state-wide tour, is whipping up sentiments against the government and upping the ante by setting impossible conditions for the merger.

Dhinakaran said he is ready to merge with the faction led by Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam if they agree to drop a few ministers from the state cabinet and appoint one of the 18 disqualified MLAs from his camp to the top post. He was speaking to the media in Thanjavur district.

The ruling dispensation is already on a shaky ground as the Madras high court is likely to deliver its verdict on the disqualification of 18 MLAs by the speaker. These MLAs, who owe allegiance to Dhinakaran and VK Sasikala, had sought the replacement of Palaniswami last year, saying they had lost faith in him in a letter to the governor.

Following which the speaker disqualified the 18 MLAs, a decision challenged by them. Arguments in the case have been completed.

A few senior AIADMK leaders are said to have sent feelers for the merger of both the sides even as the opposition has closed ranks and mounted a strong campaign against the government for its alleged misgovernance and failure to protect the interests of the people of Tamil Nadu.

Dhinakaran, however, has set difficult conditions that will not be acceptable.

Political analysts doubt Dhinakaran’s ability to destabilise the government given the fact that he has not been able to wean away even a single MLA to his side, other than the 18 who were siding with him.

Only an adverse court ruling can cause the fall of the government on the floor of the House, they added.

Palaniswami will complete a year in office after he was catapulted into the leadership role following the resignation of the then chief minister Panneerselvam, who revolted against Sasikala and broke away from the party in February last year.

Panneerselvam subsequently returned to the party merging his breakaway faction and joined the government in August last year as the deputy chief minister.

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 16:39 IST