Tamil Nadu Finance Minister and senior AIADMK (Amma) leader D Jayakumar on Monday said rebel leader O Panneerselvam had given “positive signs” on a proposed merger of the rival party factions and hit out at “sidelined” party deputy chief TTV Dhinakaran for “trying to confuse” the cadre. Referring to Panneerselvam’s comments in Delhi earlier in the day after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jayakumar said it had given positive signals about the merger.
“This has given positive signals (on the merger),” he said, replying to a question by a reporter on Panneerselvam’s comments.
Jayakumar described Dhinakaran’s rally at Madurai on Monday as an attempt to “confuse the partymen, borne out of vendetta” and added, “They (the partymen) understand it and will not accept it.”
The AIADMK is split into factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Panneerselvam and Dhinakaran, who is “not acceptable” to the first two camps.
Earlier in the day, after calling on Modi, Panneerselvam said, “The prevailing atmosphere in the state under the current regime, the feeling of the AIADMK cadre and the opinion of the public have been conveyed to the PM.”
To a question on whether ministerial berths for the Panneerselvam camp would brighten the chances of the merger, Jayakumar said talks had been held at various stages and a “workable model” had now been attained. “This will take a final shape..good things will happen and the party will unite and when that happens, the whole world will get to know,” the finance minister, who has been interacting with the media on behalf of the Palaniswami camp since they revolted against Dhinakaran in April, said.
Asked if Panneerselvam’s demand for a probe into the circumstances surrounding late chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death, made after he broke ranks with the AIADMK (Amma) faction in February, would be fulfilled, he said the matter was sub-judice and “we will obey the court’s order”.
On some recent remarks of Dhinakaran against the Palaniswami camp, Jayakumar said the people and the partymen, who were the “best judges”, were watching everything.
Dhinakaran had questioned the Palaniswami camp for giving affidavits in the Election Commission (EC), endorsing V K Sasikala as the party general secretary and him as the deputy general secretary, and alleged that opposing it now amounted to “forgery”.
Jayakumar condemned Dhinakaran’s allegation that those in the government had a mindset of “making off with whatever was available”. “There is no truth in it, it is anguishing, it is not a mature comment,” he said.
Asked about the reported support of AIADMK allies like Thamimun Ansari lending support to Dhinakaran’s Madurai rally, Jayakumar said it was not immediately known why had they done so and asserted that they continued to support the government. “The Melur AIADMK MLA has not attended Dhinakaran’s meeting,” he added.
Asked about AIADMK functionary Durai Govindarajan, who was a party to the August 10 resolution against Dhinakaran, now retracting and supporting the beleaguered leader, the finance minister said it was not known “under what circumstances” he had chosen to do so and wondered whether he was “intimidated”. “The resolution was read out to everyone before it was passed,” he added.
Jayakumar reiterated that the recent appointments made by Dhinakaran in the party was “to confuse the cadre” and that they were “unacceptable”.
The Palaniswami camp continued to oppose V K Sasikala and Dhinakaran, he said, adding that the disputes over their appointments were pending before the court and EC.