CHENNAI: AIADMK Parliamentary Party leader and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambidurai and AIADMK (Amma) deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran had separate meetings with party general secretary VK Sasikala at Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
This came amid speculations that they discussed the party’s stand on the presidential election and about the merger of the two factions. Apart from Thambidurai and Dhinakaran, five AIADMK (Amma) MLAs also met her. Though Dhinakaran used to meet his aunt Sasikala frequently, for Thambidurai, it was a meeting after a few months. As usual, both of them denied discussing politics during the meeting.
Thambidurai said it was a courtesy call on “Madam Chinnamma”, while Dhinakaran said that he went along with his family to meet his aunt. “That’s all.” However, the meeting assumes significance as the AIADMK (Amma) is yet to make a formal announcement on its stance on presidential elections though there are reports that Thambidurai had already pledged his party’s support to the BJP during his meeting with Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu a few days ago.
“No split in the AIADMK. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is functioning well. Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, myself and Palaniswami and others were elected on the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol and we have the duty to protect it,” Thambidurai told mediapersons. He said the party would take a stand on the presidential election while Dhinakaran said, “General Secretary VK Sasikala will decide the stand of the party.”
Responding to another question, Dhinakaran said, “Our enemies will try to destabilise our government and our party. It is quite natural. But we will safeguard the government and party.” On the reported demand made by MLAs supporting him to the Chief Minister that he be allowed to look after the party affairs, Dhinakaran said, “No such demand was made by the MLAs.”
Responding to another query as to whether he was not active in party affairs, he said, “I am not keeping mum. I am meeting my party colleagues including, MLAs, MPs and Ministers.” Meanwhile, talking to mediapersons at Madurai, Minister for Forests, Dindigul C Sreenivasan said his party’s stand on the presidential election would be announced in a day or two.