TTV Dhinakaran vows to strike back after AIADMK merger, but what can he really do?

In a series of tweets on Monday night, TTV Dhinakaran went after both EPS and OPS
TTV Dhinakaran vows to strike back after AIADMK merger, but what can he really do?
TTV Dhinakaran vows to strike back after AIADMK merger, but what can he really do?
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After AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran’s show of strength in Melur last week, where he shared the dais with 20 AIADMK MLAs at a public meeting, all eyes were on him on Monday to see what will be his next move - will he try to bring the government down or make some other significant announcements? But there was only a meditation by 18 MLAs at Jayalalithaa memorial and some hand-wringing by him.

On Monday around 10am, MLAs started walking into TTV Dhinakaran’s residence at Karpagam Gardens in Adyar. First, the count of the MLAs was 6 and it slowly increased to 16, and by afternoon, 18 MLAs were with TTV Dhinakaran, discussing their next move. However, this was 2 short of the 20 MLAs who were expected at his residence.

Speaking about the merger between O Panneerselvam and Edappadi’s factions, AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi said, “We also want the merger but we want everyone to be united. Why have they left us out? Edappadi was made the Chief Minister by Chinnamma, even Panneerselvam knows Chinnamma well. In the affidavits, Chinnamma’s name is there as the general secretary, we do not know why they want to remove her from the party.”

Minutes after that, about 20 supporters of TTV Dhinakaran started protesting outside TTV’s residence asking for removal of Edappadi Palanisamy from the party.

And then, more signs of a possible merger emerged, with AIADMK leaders Vaithilingam, Thangamani and SP Velumani visiting O Panneerselvam’s residence. Dhinakaran’s close aide Nanjil Sampath said in response, “What was the need for three of them to visit ‘traitor’ O Panneerselvam’s house? Action must be taken against them.”

When asked why only 18 MLAs had turned up at TTV Dhinakaran’s residence, “We all do not need to come always, wait all the 120 MLAs will come here,” said Nanjil Sampath.

He added that even though the other faction had majority, only TTV Dhinakaran was eligible to run the party.

However, when the merger was announced at the AIADMK headquarters in Royapettah between O Panneerselvam and Edappadi Palanisamy, none of the MLAs or Dhinakaran spoke about it.

Later in the evening, agitated that Vaithilingam had announced that they will be removing Sasikala from the party’s Karnataka secretary Pugazhendi said, “Were they not the ones to give the post of General Secretary to Sasikala? Deputy General Secretary will be making further announcements. Let DMK bring no confidence motion, if they have the courage, let us face the public.”

Around 7:30pm, MLAs started making a move from TTV Dhinakaran’s residence to Jayalalithaa’s memorial on Marina. “Wait and see what will happen. What they did was not dharmayudham, it was for power and positions. We do not know how to act. O Panneerselvam was earlier like a commissioner but now he is like a constable,” said Parithi Illamvazhuthi, former minister.

Speaking to reporters at the memorial, MLA Thangatamil Selvan said, "We are meeting the Governor at 10 am on Tuesday. We were not consulted about the merger, and OPS who has only 10 MLAs on his side was given so much importance." The MLAs further refused to divulge details of what they are to discuss with the Governor.

MLA Vetrivel, meanwhile, pointed out that the government has merged with leaders who voted against the government six months back. "We will reveal our strategy at 10 am on Tuesday. Only the General Secretary has the power to appoint or remove any member," he emphasised.

Later in the night, in a string of tweets, TTV Dhinakaran went after both EPS and OPS.

"What happened was not a merger. It was a business deal for the gain of certain individuals and to help them retain posts," Dhinakaran tweeted late in the night, after stating that he could not speak to media since he was unwell. "The cadre will never accept their move to remove the General Secretary. They gave betrayed the General Secretary who made Edappadi Palaniswami the Chief Minister," he added.

He further questioned why O Panneerselvam was joining a government which he alleged was tainted. "These betrayals will not lead to victory, we will save the party from them," he vowed,

It is yet to see what the 18 MLAs supporting TTV Dhinakaran will be discussing with the governor on Tuesday morning and what the outcome of it will be.

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