TTV Dinakaran, the founder of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), has said the ruling AIADMK government led by Edappadi K Palanisamy will survive only till the bypolls. In an interview to Puthiya Thalaimurai on Friday, he said: “AIADMK can survive only till the bypolls. They are nothing but a branch of BJP in Tamil Nadu. Close to 90 per cent of AIADMK true supporters are with us, our party will sweep all the 20 constituencies.”
The rebel AIADMK leader, who floated AMMK this March, has been a constant critic of the ruling AIADMK government. He won the RK Nagar bypoll last December by more than 40,000 votes.
In 2017, Speaker P Dhanapal disqualified 18 AIADMK MLAs under the anti-defection law after they met the Governor and expressed lack of confidence in Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy. On October 25, Justice M.Sathyanarayanan, the Supreme Court appointed the third judge of the Madras High Court, upheld the order of the Speaker disqualifying the rebel AIADMK MLAs which proved to be a major setback for the Dinakaran party. But the AMMK supremo remained unfazed by the verdict and said it was not a setback but an experience.
In the interview, Dinakaran denied the allegations AIADMK party made about his secret meeting with TN opposition leader and DMK chief M K Stalin. “I never met Stalin, we never had any secret meetings. We just stayed in the same hotel in Madurai during Thevar Jayanthi. It’s a common thing for political leaders of opposite parties to stay in the same hotel, there is nothing wrong.”
Dinakaran said he has no plans of joining hands with DMK in the upcoming elections and will never join with BJP. “We are neither with DMK nor BJP. Our primary goal is to eliminate the hegemonic party led by Edappadi K Palanisamy. Even some of the DMK cadres told me that they have never seen a betrayal like this in their life, even the public wants this puppet government to be eradicated.”
Asked whether the arrival of superstars Rajinikant and Kamal Haasan would make an impact on elections, Dinakaran said: ‘’It is common for new parties to emerge after the death of a famous leader. After the demise of MGR in 1987, actor Sivaji Ganesan launched his party, now Kamal Haasan has done that. You know what happened to the former party.”
Earlier on Friday, Dinakaran along with 18 disqualified MLAs met Sasikala at Parappana Agrahara Jail in Bengaluru where the latter is facing a four-year jail term in a disproportionate assets case. “We discussed the high-court verdict, Chinamma said facing bypolls would be the right option,” Dinakaran said to the reporters.
About the ongoing issue over the movie Sarkar, Dinakaran said: “Sarkar has not taken a neutral stand. They didn’t show people throwing TV sets provided by the DMK government which is one of their most populist freebies schemes.”
However, Dinakaran condemned the hooliganism of AIADMK workers against the movie. “The attitude of ruling party in the Sarkar affair is not ethical. When IT officials conducted a raid at Amma’s Poes Garden residence a few months back, they were quiet and now they are showing their power,” Dinakaran added.