AIADMK rebel leader and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) chief TTV Dhinakaran has ruled out any possibility of returning to the AIADMK fold, a day after Union minister Ramdas Athawale said that he should join the AIADMK with the BJP in talks to form a poll alliance with the party in Tamil Nadu.
Asked about Athawale’s remark, Dhinakaran said, “How can I go and merge with them? Why did MGR (AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran) left DMK? He called DMK an evil force. Similarly, they (AIADMK) are a bunch of betrayers. My party (AMMK) is gaining a huge momentum in the state. We have a grassroots-level presence with workers in all districts, each constituency has over 3000 cadres. Our members are over one crore (in Tamil Nadu) now.”
Athawale had appealed to Dhinakaran to unite with the AIADMK’s ruling faction to make the NDA alliance stronger in Tamil Nadu. “I appeal AIADMK to come and join NDA. This is to benefit Tamil Nadu as well as AIADMK,” Athawale said. “Why should Dhinakaran not join AIADMK? There should be a powerful unity. If they want to fulfil the dream of Jayalalithaa, all leaders should come together,” he said.
Athawale had earlier called for an alliance between the Trinamool Congress and BJP.
Fisheries Minister and AIADMK spokeperson D Jayakumar said that Athawale’s opinion may not be the party’s. “This opinion has come from a minister, not the party. Let the BJP officially make their opinions,” he said.
Reacting to statements made by AIADMK leader M Thambidurai against an alliance with BJP, Jayakumar said, “His statements (against BJP alliance) were his own opinion. Party’s opinion will come officially. We have already clarified that there is no decision taken on alliances right now.”
BJP’s national general secretary Muralidhar Rao played down Athawale’s statement during a brief media interaction in Tamil Nadu. “He is part of NDA. If he said something, someone might have approached him. Any declaration from BJP on poll alliances will come from Amit Shah and Narendra Modi,” he said.