The TTV Dinakaran faction of the ruling AIADMK on Monday said it has rejected an invite to participate in tomorrow’s party legislators’ meeting convened by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and asserted there is no change in its stand that the CM should be removed.
Thangatamilselvan, MLA, a staunch loyalist of sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary Dinakaran, said the dissident legislators had been contacted over phone from the party headquarters yesterday and invited for tomorrow’s meeting.
“We asked them why we were not invited for a previous similar meeting,” he told reporters outside Dinakaran’s residence here. The rebel MLAs were informed that it was ‘inadvertent’ and that such things would not recur, he said.
He said that notwithstanding tomorrow’s meeting, there was no change in their demand that Palaniswami be removed as the chief minister, a plea the 19 dissident AIADMK MLAs had made with Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on August 22.
When asked if the MLAs supporting Dinakaran would press their demand in tomorrow’s meeting, Thangatamilselvan shot back saying “the question doesn’t arise since we are not attending it”.
“There is no chance of going since our demand (of removing the chief minister) has not been fulfilled,” he said.
The 19 MLAs made the demand a day after the AIADMK factions led by Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam merged. The strength of the camp has gone up to 21 with two more MLAs joining it. The MLAs are staying in neighbouring Puducherry.
Palaniswami has convened the meeting of AIADMK MLAs tomorrow here, exactly a week ahead of the September 12 general council and executive meets of the party, which could take a call on the future of jailed party chief V K Sasikala and Dinakaran in AIADMK.
Palaniswami and Dinakaran are involved in a tussle for power even as opposition parties including DMK have been demanding that the governor direct a floor test for the state government in the assembly to prove its strength.
The chief minister’s camp had recently announced that Dinakaran had been removed from the party on August 10 itself and hence changes being made by him in party posts were invalid.
Meanwhile, the Dinakaran camp got a shot in the arm with two Lok Sabha MPs today extending support to the sidelined leader.
AIADMK’s Lok Sabha members B Senguttuvan (Vellore) and M Udhayakumar (Dindigul) met Dinakaran here and expressed their support.
Later, speaking to reporters, Senkuttuvan alleged that Tamil Nadu had “the most corrupt government in the country” and wanted Palaniswami to step down as chief minister.
“Amma (late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa) had given an excellent rule. But the prevailing situation is a shame for all in Tamil Nadu,” he said.
Senkuttuvan said the alleged suicide of Dalit student and medical aspirant Anitha, who had opposed National Entrance cum Eligibility Test in the Supreme Court, made them take a position against the government.
Uthayakumar claimed that after the death of party supremo Jayalalithaa, her successor V K Sasikala had taken AIADMK forward and ensured the government survived following the February 2017 rebellion by present Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
Dinakaran on Monday sacked party’s Lok Sabha MP KRP Prabakaran as party’s Tirunelveli Rural District Secretary, replacing him with S S N Chokkalingam.