AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dinakaran in his first sign of return to politics Friday announced a statewide tour from August 14 “to prepare his party for the general elections in 2019”. The first round of the tour will cover nine districts where he is expected to address rallies. The AIADMK (Amma) faction, controlled by him, has also made 44 new appointments in the party, including 18 organising secretaries. While Thoppu K Venkatachalam, former ministers P Palaniappan and Senthil Balaji and Nanjil Sampath were among the Dinakaran supporters who got key party posts, Dinakaran said the time had come for him to step in.
“Yes, I stayed away from the party after a group of ministers said they can facilitate the merger in our absence. I made it clear. I said I will be more than happy if the party gets united in my absence. But what happened in the last two months? Those ministers led by Jayakumar did not achieve anything in the last 60 days. So here I am, stepping in,” he said, smiling at mediapersons in a press briefing outside his residence.
While close aides suggested that he should wind up the interaction, Dinakaran was seen ignoring them and taking questions from journalists. He said the new appointments he made in the party were meant to prepare the base for the 2019 general elections. On reports of the AIADMK joining the NDA alliance, he said it was premature to make such a decision at this stage.’
About his plans to visit the AIADMK headquarters, Dinakaran said he was free to visit the office anytime. “My office and chairs are still there, not occupied by anyone,” he said.