HOURS after AIADMK ministers on Tuesday night said that they will keep the entire Sasikala family “completely away” from the party’s affairs, her nephew and the party’s Amma faction leader T T V Dinakaran on Wednesday said he will not fight for power.
Struggling to keep up his usual smile after coming out of the economic offences court in Egmore here, Dinakaran said, “Why should I cling to a post? Had they (ministers) told me this decision yesterday, I myself would have announced it. Even yesterday, I was waiting for them to get back with the latest development before a final decision. That is why I did not speak to media.”
While restraining himself from commenting on his usual tirade against the BJP’s alleged role in the current political development in the state, Dinakaran, who had emerged as number two in the party after AIADMK general secretary Sasikala’s conviction in a disproportionate assets case, said, “There were some reasons in the last three days that changed the minds of our ministers…may be a fear…. Anyway, if this merger of two factions is going to help the party, I welcome it. If they want me to stay away from the party, I would be happy to listen to that.”
About the Delhi Police’s remarks that it issued a lookout notice fearing Dinakaran may escape abroad, the AIADMK leader said, “My passport is in the government’s custody for nearly 20 years. How will I leave for a foreign country without a passport?”
Dinakaran was in the court regarding two money laundering cases pending against him.
A team of Delhi Police left Dinakaran’s home late on Wednesday evening, They have reportedly served him summons to appear before the team probing the bribery case in Chanakyapuri. Even if Dinakaran had a plan to prove his strength with a meeting of MLAs late Tuesday night —his aides had issued statements against those who had “ditched” Dinakaran and “Chinnamma” Sasikala — by Wednesday afternoon he had cancelled any such meeting.
The man who had played the biggest role in bringing about this apparent fall of Dinakaran or the Mannargudi Family — as Sasikala’s family is called, since they come from Mannargudi — was O Panneerselvam, once Dinakaran’s comrade in arms.
“Panneerselvam’s target was Sasikala but he finally had to hit out at Dinakaran to finish the entire family,” said one of the ministers who “reluctantly” joined Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s camp on Wednesday, deserting Sasikala and Dinakaran.
“We are told that we will be in trouble otherwise (staying on in Sasikala’s side),” the minister said. “Even if Dinakaran was willing to step down when the issue was raised in a meeting last week, he delayed the decision. Had there been no delay, his exit would have been smoother.”