As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. And the past few months have been nothing short of a continuous downpour of one political party launch after another for Tamil Nadu. This March 15, TTV Dhinakaran, the RK Nagar MLA and ousted AIADAMK Deputy General Secretary is all set to launch his political outfit in Melur, Madurai.
In a statement to the press, TTV Dhinakaran made it clear that the event to mark the naming of his political party was in light of the Delhi High Court order to grant him the pressure cooker symbol as he had requested. The pressure cooker symbol was allotted to him during the RK Nagar bye-elections in December last year. The bye-poll, necessitated by the death of the late CM, was won by Dhinakaran, who contested as an independent candidate.
In addition to taking back the governance of the state from ‘betrayers’, TTV Dhinakaran also promises to uphold the welfare goals that former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had envisioned for the people. The event where the party flag is to be unveiled also has the blessings of his aunt, the ‘Sacrificial Leader’ Sasikala who is currently serving a four-year sentence at the Parappana Agrahara jail in Bengaluru in the Disproportionate Assets case. “A political party is needed to retrieve the AIADMK from the clutches of traitors. We need a registered political party to fully retrieve the AIADMK from the present rulers,” reads the statement. Dhinakaran has the support of at least 22 MLA, including 18, who were disqualified by the Speaker last August.
The AIADMK had splintered into factions following the death of supremo and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016. Following then Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s rebellion against Jayalalithaa’s aide VK Sasikala, the AIADMK split into two factions. But months after Sasikala was convicted in the Disproportionate Assets case, Sasikala’s ‘trusted lieutenant’ Edappadi Palaniswami patched up with arch rival O Pannerselvam following the personal involvement of Prime Minister Modi. Soon, Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran were ousted from their respective posts in the AIADMK, while the two factions merged in August last year.
The launch of Dhinkaran’s political party also comes weeks after actor-turned-politician launched his political party in Madurai. On February 21, Kamal Haasan launched his Makkal Needhi Maiam in a grand ceremony in Madurai, in the presence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and AAP leader Somnath Bharti among others.
On December 31, superstar Rajinikanth too announced the certainty of his political entry in Chennai. The actor, however, is yet to announce the launch of his political party.
With a political vacuum in the state caused by the demise of Jayalalithaa and with DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi inactive, several small and large players have announced the launch of their political careers in recent months.