AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dhinakaran does not seem to understand the meaning of the word ‘No’. ‘No’ was the message when he tried to lobby with his aunt and jailed AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala after he came out of a Delhi jail and mocked the unity efforts initiated by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. She reckoned that intra-party unity was paramount for the AIADMK to be a strong contender whenever the next Assembly election is called.
The chief minister too showed Dhinakaran the ‘No’ placard by not being part of the welcome party at the Chennai airport on his return from Tihar and not having a one-on-one meeting with him yet. Also, an unqualified ‘No’ to the Sasikala family is a pre-condition the rebel O Panneerselvam group has been harping on for a possible patch-up.
Yet Dhinakaran sent his minions to the chief minister to let him enter the party headquarters and take over charge of the organisation. Palaniswami is again learnt to have said a categorical ‘No’.
Dhinakaran’s push comes at a time when the ruling faction appears to have done its homework for staking its claim to the party’s Two Leaves symbol before the Election Commission of India, if one were to go by sheer numbers.
It has filed about 3 lakh more affidavits than the OPS camp. Remember when the merger buzz had just begun, the OPS faction appeared cocky, claiming it had filed 1.5 lakh affidavits for the symbol as against just 20,000 from the EPS camp. The equation has now changed and has weakened the hand of the rebels.
Despite the internal challenges, the government seems to be marshalling its forces quite well in the ongoing Assembly session. There has been no discordant note from within so far. In fact, OPS was seen helping the food minister field a question in the House on the shortage of grains in ration shops. Dhinakaran perhaps fears his irrelevance, which is why he appears bent on poking the government.