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Can Palaniswami govt in Tamil Nadu survive after Dhinakaran’s return?

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-06-2017 Dharani Thangavelu

Chennai: The return of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Amma) leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran could threaten the stability of chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s Tamil Nadu government surviving on a margin of five legislators.

After getting bail on alleged involvement in the Election Commission bribery case and returning to Chennai on Saturday, Dhinakaran said that he will continue to remain in the party and carry out his duties as usual, sparking confusion.

Also Read: Dhinakaran returns to Chennai, claims he is always involved in party affairs

The Palaniswami government won the trust vote in February with the backing of 122 MLAs following the withdrawal of former chief minister O. Panneerselvam and 11 legislators from his AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction. While the shift of six MLAs from Palaniswami camp can destabilize the government, Dhinakaran with the backing of 10 legislators poses a threat.

The Tamil Nadu legislative assembly is set to convene on 14 June.

Meanwhile, Dhinakaran, who was sidelined by senior ministers in April, on Monday claimed that “party chief V.K. Sasikala had asked him to wait for 60 days to take a decision”. He reiterated that none “except Sasikala, had the power to remove him from the post of deputy general secretary”.

“The ministers are afraid of something,” he added.

As he, along with 10 MLAs travelled to Bengaluru on Monday to meet his aunt Sasikala convicted by the Supreme Court in a disproportionate assets case, some of the senior ministers held discussions in Chennai.

Finance minister D. Jayakumar said the government “does not depend on Sasikala’s family”. “They (Sasikala and Dhinakaran) have no role in running the party or government.”

With the possibility of a merger between the two warring factions of the AIADMK, senior ministers had announced the expulsion of the Sasikala’s family members from the party in April. Dhinakaran had then announced that he would step down.

Also Read: AIADMK’s political dilemma in Tamil Nadu leads to instability in governance

“I had earlier moved away to facilitate the merger for the party’s well-being. But nothing has happened all these days,” said Dhinakaran.

The Panneerselvam camp had stressed on keeping away Sasikala and her family from the party affairs to enable a smooth merger. 

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