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As crisis deepens, AIADMK leaders may meet Amit Shah today

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-08-2017 Dharani Thangavelu

Chennai: Senior leaders of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) of Tamil Nadu trooped to Delhi where they met finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday with a request for welfare funds, as the political crisis at home simmered on.

The AIADMK leaders are likely to meet BJP national president Amit Shah in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The Tamil Nadu leaders’ meeting with Jaitley and industry and commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman comes in the backdrop of the Bharatiya Janata Party reportedly helping unite the two warring factions of the AIADMK led by chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O. Panneerselvam.

However, AIADMK leader and Lok Sabha deputy speaker M. Thambidurai said that they “did not discuss politics” with Jaitley. He said the party leaders asked for Rs17,000 crore that Tamil Nadu needs “to implement welfare schemes”.

The AIADMK leaders were earlier expected to meet Election Commission (EC) officials to hand over a copy of the resolutions passed by the party on Monday, seeking the unfreezing of the party’s ‘two leaves’ symbol among other demands.

They were also expected to withdraw affidavits that had been submitted by the Palaniswami faction since April in favour of V.K. Sasikala and her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran.

V. Maitreyan, an AIADMK member of Parliament, said that there were no plans to meet EC officials. Ministers D. Jayakumar, P. Thangamani and C.V. Shanmugham along with AIAMDK leader Manoj Pandian were in the delegation.

Meawhile, Dhinakaran, the sidelined deputy general secretary of AIADMK, approached the Election Commission, and urged the poll panel to inform him before taking any decision on the party’s disputed ‘two leaves’ symbol.

PTI reported that the AIADMK’s Karnataka unit chief, V. Pugazhendi, who supports Dhinakaran, said that he had submitted a memorandum to the EC on Tuesday, telling it that Sasikala was the principal respondent in the ‘two leaves ‘symbol case and that her view should be considered before the poll panel takes any decision.

After 19 members of legislative assembly (MLAs) from Dhinakaran’s camp withdrew support to Palaniswami last week, all the opposition parties including the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) urged governor C. Vidyasagar Rao to convene the assembly for a floor test.

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