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Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Tamil Nadu minister’s ‘unity’ call sparks talks of AMMK merger with AIADMK

Several senior leaders of the AIADMK, including CM Palaniswami, have been firm about not allowing Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran back into the party.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
February 10, 2021 7:06:29 pm
sasikala, ttv dhinakaran, ammk, aiadmk,VK Sasikala being felicitated in Krishnagiri on February 8. (Photo: PTI)

With expelled AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala back from jail and announcing her return to “active politics”, speculation is rife of a possible merger of AIADMK and TTV Dhinakaran-founded AMMK ahead of the Assembly polls.

While AIADMK’s top brass, including Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, have raised strong objections against allowing Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran back, a comment by Local Administration Minister SP Velumani has set tongues wagging.

Addressing the AIADMK cadre as part of a meeting Tuesday, Velumani said in the upcoming elections, efforts should be towards keeping out the common enemy, DMK.

“Our enemy is DMK. Whatever problem we might have, those are among brothers. In a family, all kinds of problems will come. If a problem comes from an enemy, we will join together. DMK is nowhere equal to us, Stalin is thriving on fake promises. If you all work together, we will definitely win the polls and retain the government,” he said.

Velumani’s remark comes in the backdrop of Dhinakaran on a few occasions hinting at joining hands with the AIADMK. On Twitter, Dhinakaran recently issued a long statement, thanking people for the “grand reception to Chinamma” and saying the party workers should unite to defeat DMK, the common enemy.

CM Palaniswami, however, is firm on his decision to not include Sasikala and co. into their fold.

Speaking at an election rally in Vellore, Edappadi said, “TTV Dhinakaran has not been part of AIADMK for 10 years. Amma suspended his basic membership of the party. He came back to the party after Amma’s demise. He tried everything to capture the party. He took away 18 MLAs from us and then left them on the streets. People who believe him will face a similar situation. Some people are trying all kinds of tricks to bring evil force DMK to power, but I will tell you the AIADMK won’t let that happen.”

A senior Tamil Nadu political analyst said Velumani’s comments may have been taken out of context. Speaking to the indianexpress.com, he said Velumani will not want Sasikala back in the party, as it will lead to a definite power struggle in the Kongu belt.

“The current government is run by a couple of ministers and Velumani is a key factor in that. From a second-rung leader, Velumani has now risen to almost controlling the party in certain sectors. If Sasikala comes back into the AIADMK fold, Velumani and a couple of ministers will be pushed back and certainly, they wouldn’t want that to happen,” he said.

“Also, Sasikala’s men in the Gounder community have been silenced all these years and now if this merger happens, they will pounce to grab some of the key positions. This will lead to an unnecessary outcry in the western region, which is considered the AIADMK’s strong area. With elections around the corner, the party won’t take this gamble,” he added.

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