On Thursday, the MLA batted for the party's alliance with the BJP.

Miffed MLA says Sasikala faction leaders treated like bonded labourers bats for ADMK-BJP tie
news Politics Friday, May 05, 2017 - 12:39

Over the past three months, the AIADMK has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. A rebellion that led to the breakup of the party, a conviction that left the leadership in a state of constant flux, an I-T investigation, a cancelled election, another arrest… The woes of AIADMK have only been growing by the hour.

And while there have been murmurs of discontent within the Sasikala faction of the party, an MLA has now given voice to these rumours.

Sulur MLA Kanagaraj, who was one of the main voices demanding a merger of the OPS and EPS factions of the party, has now claimed that leaders in the Sasikala faction are treated like bonded labourers.

The MLA, in a video interview, can be seem sitting in the front seat of a car with a picture of former chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on the dashboard.

The Sulur MLA, in frustration says, "Did they ask us before appointing Chinnamma or TTV Dhinakaran? Did they ask us when removing Dhinakaran? We were told to sign and we did. We couldn't ask why this was all happening. One group is functioning to ensure they are benefitted and we are all being made bonded labourers. "

The interview comes just hours after the MLA told reporters that the AIADMK would do well to ally with the BJP, strengthening rumours that that central party was meddling with affairs in Tamil Nadu.

When asked if the AIADMK was looking for an electoral alliance with the BJP, the first time MLA reportedly said, "Only then welfare projects can be implemented. On that front, I would say an alliance with BJP is good."

While Kanagaraj was among those who voted for the Edappadi Palaniswami government in the confidence vote in Tamil Nadu Assembly, the MLA has not always been in line with the party diktat. In fact, he threatened to leave the Sasikala faction in March if a stone quarry which was functioning illegally in his constituency was not closed. The collector following his threat ordered closure of the quarry.

In the past, according to ToI, Kanagaraj raised tensions when he stated that he was ready to accept O Panneerselvam as Chief Minister for the sake of the party's unity. He is reportedly a loyalist of Minister SP Velumani, a key leader in the present administration.

Kanagaraj’s ‘bonded labourers’ comment comes even as the merger talks between the OPS and EPS camps of the AIADMK are on the brink of failure. While the two factions have formed committees to thrash out a deal, it all came to a standstill as the Panneerselvam faction believes that one of their main demands - of sidelining the Sasikala clan - has not been met.

In fact, members of the Sasikala family were recently seen hobnobbing with Ministers of the AIADMK government - a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the OPS faction.

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