Dhinakaran, Sasikala's Mannargudi family dropped like a hot potato; AIADMK MLAs vow to keep them out ahead of merger

Former CM and rebel leader O Panneerselvam stunned moderates on both sides, stressing that there was no deviation from the mission to liberate the party from the clutches of Sasikala family.

Published: 18th April 2017 10:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th April 2017 03:50 AM   |  A+A-

TTV Dhinakaran.(Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The whisper campaign within the ruling AIADMK against the influential Mannargudi family exploded into a full scale revolt on Tuesday night, after State ministers who were so far with the imprisoned general secretary VK Sasikala, and her nephew and deputy TTV Dhinakaran came out in the open vowing to keep the family members away from the party and government affairs.

“We all – chief minister and the cabinet, MPs and MLAs, district secretaries, headquarters office-bearers and grassroots level office-bearers – came together to take a united decision to keep TTV Dhinakaran and family away from party affairs. It is the wish of 1.5 crore party cadre. They all wish that the family should be completely kept away from the party affairs as well as government affairs… it should function without their interference,” said senior leader and minister D Jayakumar, who spoke to the media after an emergency meeting that was held at Chief Minster ‘Edappadi’ K Palaniswami’s residence late in the day. 

Asked whether Sasikala would also be kept away, Jayakumar said, “A committee will soon be formed for running the day-to-day party affairs.”

Though there were only 12 ministers, five MLAs and two MPs who took part in the meeting, those who gathered included some of the senior leaders and also those like R Vaithilingam MP and minister C Ve Shanmugham who have always been perceived as close to Sasikala’s family.

Speaking in his native Theni earlier in the day, former Chief Minister and rebel leader O Panneerselvam stunned moderates on both sides, stressing that there was no deviation from the mission to liberate the party from the clutches of Sasikala family.

Meanwhile in Chennai, one of his key lieutenants, former minister KP Munusamy, said there was no question of merger unless and until the entire family of Sasikala was ousted from the party. "We can't let them use us as pawns in their game,” Munusamy added without mincing words.

This incited the loyalists including P Vetrivel, Thanga Tamilselvan and others, who openly attacked the rebels for their precondition for merger, and also the ministers who have been putting pressure on Dhinakaran to step away from active politics. “The meeting held at electricity minister (P Thangamani’s) residence last night was not authorised by the party, and was held without Dhinakaran’s knowledge,” Vetrivel criticised.

“Sasikala and Dhinakaran will continue in their posts,” added Tamilselvan after holding meetings with Dhinakaran.

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