IN THE changing contours of political equations in the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, T T V Dinakaran, party deputy general secretary and nephew of party’s official chief V K Sasikala, seems to have dropped out of favour of the Sasikala family. Sasikala’s brother Dhivakaran is set to organise an event to mark party founder and former Tamil Nadu CM M G Ramachandran’s birth centenary, where Dinakaran has apparently not been invited.
The function, sources in the party said, is meant to announce the political entry of Dhivakaran’s son Jeyanandh Dhivakaran, and advertisements for the event carries a photo of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, along with party founder M G Ramachandran, late J Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and Dhivakaran himself. The event will be held at Mannargudi, the native of Sasikala family near Thanjavur, a little over 300 km south of Chennai, on July 15.
Dinakaran, reports suggest, is preparing to hold a similar function to celebrate MGR’s birth centenary at his native place, Theni, in the second week of July. The Palaniswami faction had earlier disowned Sasikala family’s influence in the party. Sources close to Dhivakaran said he is organising such a function for the first time. “The fact that it includes the CM and excludes his own nephew and party deputy general secretary Dinakaran sends out a clear message: that the Sasikala family is asserting power in the party, and the government,” according to a relative.
Besides allegedly continuing to enjoy a firm control over the party, its assets and key offices, the Sasikala faction also runs key party organs such as Jaya TV and Namadhu MGR daily, among others. In January this year, a similar function organised by Sasikala’s husband, M Natarajan, during the Pongal celebrations became a venue for the family to express a clear stand against the BJP, which eventually led to turbulence in the party, and the revolt of then chief minister O Panneerselvam.
Dhivakaran had also attended that event. It is not clear whether Natarajan, considered close to Dhivakaran, will attend the Mannargudi programme.