E Madhusudhanan, the AIADMK candidate in the high profile RK Nagar bye- election in December 2017 has written a strongly worded letter addressed to Chief Minister Edapadi Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. In his letter, he blames Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar for the electoral defeat faced by the ruling party. He asks for strict action to be taken against the AIADMK leader within a week.
The RK Nagar bye-elections took place in December 2017 amidst several ground reports of cash for votes in the constituency. The elections, necessitated by former RK Nagar MLA and late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaaâ€™s death, were cancelled in April 2017 due to widespread allegations of corruption.
According to one report, senior leaders have said that Madhusudhanan has accused D Jayakumar of not having given his all for the campaign since the latter is the MLA from the neighbouring constituency of Royapuram. RK Nagar also has a significant fisherfolk population, and Jayakumar having been the state Fisheries Minister has a rapport with the community.
TTV Dhinakaran, ousted AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala's nephew, contested and won the bye-polls with a mandate of 90,000 votes, 40000 over AIADMKâ€™s Madhusudhanan.
It is important to note that Madhusudhanan is also the Presidium Chairman of the AIADMK whose participation in the Executive Committee is necessitated by party bye-laws. Another rebellion in the party by a senior leader could cause the fragile AIADMK to once again crumble into factions as it did following Jayalalithaaâ€™s death in December 2016.
Madhusudhanan's letter to EPS and OPS is particularly interesting given the fact that TTV Dhinakaran has long said he has 'sleeper cells' in the government. In his victory speech after the by-polls, he said that the government would fall in three months' time.
Earlier in November, Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan hinted at divisions within the AIADMK in a post on Facebook asking, â€śThree months since the merger and the fourth month is on. The months pass by but what about hearts?â€ť
With the vast political vacuum created by the death of Jayalalithaa and the active political absence of M Karunanidhi, several new actors have emerged on the political scene in Tamil Nadu, vying for space amongst the masses. This has sent the traditional Dravidian parties scurrying to their bases for reassurance. Under such circumstances and the growing criticism against the government, the coming days may well spell trouble for the now united AIADMK.