EXPELLED AIADMK leader T T V Dinakaran on Wednesday alleged that a Tamil Nadu police team harassed the 21 party MLAs loyal to him and expelled interim general secretary V K Sasikala at a resort in Coorg, Karnataka, where they are staying. He alleged that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami sent the police team.
Threatening legal action against the police and Palaniswami, Dinakaran alleged that the officers who visited the resort in Coorg on Tuesday had offered the legislators Rs 15 crore-20 crore to switch camps. “They were told that cases will be lodged against them if they go against the government,” Dinakaran said, and accused the Chief Minister of making “desperate attempts” to gain majority in the House.
The ruling faction is short of the minimum number needed for a floor test success — 117 MLAs.
Dinakaran’s allegations come a day after the ruling faction, led by Palaniswami and also including rebel-turned-ally O Panneerselvam, expelled Sasikala and Dinakaran, who had been appointed the party’s deputy general secretary by Sasikala before she went to jail in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case. While there were reports that another key leader in his camp, Pappireddipatti MLA and former minister P Palaniappan, was arrested by Tamil Nadu police in connection with suicide of a contractor, Dinakaran denied it. He said Palaniappan had left the resort to seek relief from court.
Dinakaran, who was earlier reluctant to topple the government, purportedly fearing a backlash since it was elected under late J Jayalalithaa, hinted that he was ready to bring it down. Maintaining that the party is of prime concern, he said cadres are now asking him to dissolve the Palaniswami-led government. Dinakaran said he is awaiting a response from Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to act on his demand for action against the government.
Denying rumours that he was siding with the DMK to take on Palaniswami and Panneerselvam in a game for power, Dinakaran said, “DMK is our political enemy. How can we go with them? We will defeat them in the elections.”
The Dinakaran camp filed a complaint at Kushal Nagara police station, near Coorg, alleging that a Tamil Nadu police team harassed them at the resort and also offered them money to join the Palaniswami camp.