Sidelined AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran today relieved MLA S K T Jakkaiyan from his post of party organising secretary two days after he switched loyalty to Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s camp. Continuing his ‘crackdown’ on those who side with the Palaniswami-led camp, he also sacked another organising secretary and Rajya Sabha member A K Selvaraj, from his party post.
Five others, including MLAs P M Narasimhan and Thoppu N D Venkatachalam, were relieved of their responsibilities as organising secretaries, Dhinakaran said in a statement here. The leaders of the unified AIADMK have announced that Dhinakaran has been removed as the party deputy chief on August 10 and he had no powers to make changes in the party set up.
On September 7, Jakkaiyan, who was among the 21 MLAs backing Dhinakaran, pledged support to the Palaniswami camp. Dhinkaran had dubbed it as a result of “intimidation and lure” tactics of the ruling camp. Jakkaiyan had then said he wanted Palaniswami to continue as the chief minister and added the situation should not be allowed to turn in favour of arch rival the DMK.
However, on the same day, MLA S Karunas of Mukkulathor Pulipadai pledged his support to Dhinakaran. The total number of MLAs supporting Dhinakaran stands at 21. In the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, which has one seat vacant (R K Nagar, represented by late J Jayalalithaa), the AIADMK has 134 MLAs, excluding the speaker. The opposition DMK has 89 members, its allies Congress eight and IUML one.
The Dhinkaran camp has been pressing for the ouster of Palaniswami as the chief minister since the factions led by him and his predecessor O Panneerselvam merged on August 21. A group of 19 MLAs loyal to Dhinakaran had met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on August 22 and expressed lack of confidence in the chief minister, prompting opposition parties to demand a floor test in the Assembly.