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TTV Dhinakaran to resume party work, to ‘bring together’ AIADMK factions

LiveMint logoLiveMint 01-08-2017 PTI

Chennai: Sidelined AIADMK Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran on Tuesday said he would resume party work from 4 August after a two-month hiatus and embark on a state- wide tour to facilitate efforts for merger of factions. m

“Strengthening the party also means bringing together those who had walked apart,” he said in an apparent reference to factions led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Chief Minister K Palaniswami. Stating that he was “no competition” to any one in the party, Dhinakaran told reporters here that he did not feel that he was being ‘sidelined’, asserting he will do his ‘duty’ for the party.

His announcement on resuming party work assumes significance as the Palaniswami camp had earlier decided to keep him, and jailed party chief and his aunt V K Sasikala, away from the party affairs and government. Responding, Finance Minister D Jayakumar indicated that a patch-up with Dhinakaran was “unlikely”. “We are very clear, the party and government is led by chief minister K Palaniswami.

We are not going to be worried about others,” the senior AIADMK (Amma) camp leader said when asked about Dhinakaran’s comments on resumption of active politics. Though Dhinakaran had questioned the authority of Amma camp leader to sideline him, he had in June last, after coming out on bail in the Election Commission bribery attempt case, said he would wait for two months for the merger of factions of AIADMK and then take up active party work.

He had given the time-frame for merger after meeting Sasikala, serving her term in a disproportionate assets case in a Bengaluru prison, on 5 June. He had then said that Sasikala had told him what to do in case the factions did not unite in 60 days and that deadline draws to a close on 4 August. Dhinakaran on Tuesday said he will begin the state-wide tour after 4 August to strengthen the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 and ensure a big win for it.

“I am going to tour the state to meet party cadres and people for party’s growth and for the party’s win in 2019 Lok Sabha poll,” he said. On the merger, he said despite the time given, there had been no progress. “As a party worker and Deputy General Secretary I have a duty to work for the party and strengthen it.”

Replying to a question, Dhinakaran said he considered Palaniswami a good friend. Speaking to reporters after taking part in a meeting chaired by Palaniswami which was expected to take forward merger issue of AIADMK factions, Jayakumar said it was about the ongoing centenary celebrations of party founder and former chief minister M G Ramachandran.

To a question on merger, he quoted a Tamil proverb the meaning of which is ‘unity will be of great good,” and said all of them including the chief minister, ministers and functionaries were of the same opinion. Stating that the “door for talks” is still open, he said he was confident that a “good, cordial solution will be reached soon.” However, the Amma camp senior leader’s conciliatory tone was apparently aimed at only Panneerselvam and not Dhinakaran.

Though the Panneerselvam faction disbanded a panel set up by them to hold talks, Jayakumar claimed that parleys were “happening at various levels,” again insisting that the door for talks were not closed. To a question on claims about AIADMK (Amma) joining NDA alliance, he said the government was having cordial ties with the BJP-led Centre to get adequate funds and do whatever was necessary for the people of Tamil Nadu.

“Do not take it otherwise,” he added. Earlier in the day, Jayakumar had played down a meeting of party leaders expected later in the evening as “routine.” Former minister and Pannerselvam loyalist K Pandiarajan said, “we are not saying no to unification...if the values (espousing which Panneerselvam broke away from the party) are respected that will happen.”

Earlier, a meeting of the AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma led by Panneerselvam was held here. Ousting Sasikala and her family members including Dhinakaran from the party is the key demand of the Panneerselvam faction.

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