The RK Nagar MLA unveiled his party name and flag in Madurai on Thursday in the presence of 18 disqualified members.

TTV Dhinakaran launches Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam with Jaya on flagTwitter: @Lokpria
news Politics Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 11:02

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam or AMMK - that’s the newest party in the ever-expanding universe of Tamil Nadu’s political landscape.

RK Nagar MLA and ousted AIADMK Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran launched his political outfit on Thursday at Melur in Madurai, following the Delhi High Court’s order granting him the pressure cooker symbol.  

Dhinakaran, who has long insisted that the present dispensation was not following the principles of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, has named his party after the late leader, calling it ‘Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam’ or Amma People’s Development Party.

He also unveiled the party flag of AMMK, which was in typical Dravidian colours of black, white and red with the image of Jayalalithaa in the centre. This is in contrast to AIADMK’s party flag that DMK founder Annadurai in the centre of its party flag, whose colours are also black, white and red.

Speaking at the launch, TTV Dhinakaran said, “The Election Commission had ruled the verdict in favour of betrayers EPS and OPS. Everyone knows what has transpired in these four months. Even in RK Nagar bypolls, I was forced to contest as an independent candidate in cooker symbol. People had voted unanimously for cooker symbol. It is the verdict of the people. All of you know how difficult it was in the past six months without a symbol and name. That's why we approached court.”

Dhinakaran was flanked by the 18 AIADMK MLAs, who were disqualified by the Speaker last August. He also has the support of 4 other AIADMK MLAs, who missed the launch owing to the state budget being presented in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. 

In a statement to the press earlier this week, TTV Dhinakaran stated, “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.” The statement also 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 by-poll, necessitated by the death of late CM Jayalalithaa, was won by Dhinakaran, who contested as an independent candidate.

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 Kamal Haasan 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.

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