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TN CM Palaniswami uses Jaya’s speech to woo rebel MLAs, Dinakaran may move HC

State revenue minister RB Udayakumar released a CD containing Amma’s speeches praising EPS and telling the cadres as to how he stood with her in fighting the onslaught of ‘the family that was ousted but still was trying to interfere in the party and government affairs.”

india Updated: Aug 31, 2017 18:38 IST
AIADMK,All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam,K Palaniswami
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam at an AIADMK party meet in Chennai on August 28, 2017.(PTI)

Tamil Nadu chief minister Eddappadi Palaniswami on Thursday dug into the archives to fish out and circulate former AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa’s speeches lashing out at the Mannargudi family even as party deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran mulled moving the Madras high court against the proposed meeting of the general council.

The ruling party is likely to remove Dinakaran’s aunt VK Sasikala as the general secretary of the party during the proposed meeting on September 12. Rivals derisively refer to Sasikala’s family as “Mannargudi mafia” for the alleged corrupt dealings of her family, which enjoyed immense clout in early days of Jayalalithaa’s rule.

The chief minister’s move to invoke Jayalalithaa and remind the party cadres of how she had thrown out the Mannargudi family from the party is aimed at wooing the rebel MLAs back into his fold. Dinakaran has claimed he has the support of 40 MLAs.

Jayalalithaa had expelled Sasikala and all her relatives from the party in 2011 after she suspected them of hatching a conspiracy against her.

State revenue minister RB Udayakumar also released a CD with Amma’s speeches praising Palaniswami and telling the workers that the chief minister stood with her in fighting the onslaught of “the family that was ousted but still was trying to interfere in the party and government affairs.”

Udayakumar was among the ministers who participated in a meeting held at the residence of chief minister on Thursday.

The AIADMK IT wing circulated the video on WhatsApp as well.

A combined opposition in Tamil Nadu, including the Congress and the Left, called on President Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi on Thursday to apprise him of the political situation in the state following the withdrawal of support by 19 AIADMK MLAs loyal to Sasikala and Dinakaran.

The MLAs had written to governor C Vidyasagar Rao withdrawing support to the Palaniswami government after the merger of the two factions of the AIADMK that brought rebel leader O Panneerselvam back into government and party affairs in key roles.

The opposition delegation held the government has lost the majority in the assembly and it should not continue in office and urged the President to direct governor Rao to order an immediate floor test so that it can prove its strength on the floor of the house.

On Wednesday, Rao expressed his inability to “interfere with an internal matter of AIADMK”.

In Chennai, Dinakaran’s supporters are contemplating moving the Madras high court to stop Palaniswami and Panneerselvam from holding the September 12 general council meeting.

Thanga Tamilselvan, an MLA close to Dinakaran, threatened to teach the “traitors” a lesson and said the government and the party cannot be handed over to the people like EPS and OPS, who cheated Chinnamma and Dinakaran.

As political parties played their hand, film star Kamal Haasan again hinted he was about to enter politics while speaking at a wedding ceremony in Chennai on Wednesday. He later told reporters his political journey had started and it did not matter if it was on Twitter or in Coimbatore.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tamil Nadu unit president Tamilisai Soundarrajan criticised Haasan for playing politics on social media and Twitter.

“If you have the guts then enter politics formally and fight it out,” she dared the actor who she said was slowly losing out work in the film industry and hence was veering towards politics.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 18:38 IST