CHENNAI: With the discussions over ‘accommodating’ VK Sasikala and the AMMK led by TTV Dhinakaran into the AIADMK-led alliance looming large after the Sunday talks held in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and AIADMK leaders, the functionaries of the ruling party are confident that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami would be firm on his stand not to accommodate the Sasikala family in any manner.
Interaction with a few senior functionaries of the AIADMK made it obvious that the perceived ‘interference’ of the BJP in the affairs of the AIADMK during the seat-sharing exercise as well as its ‘suggestion’ to accommodate AMMK led by TTV Dhinakaran in the alliance has irked the functionaries of the ruling party. Though the BJP leaders deny any such ‘suggestions’ from them, AIADMK functionaries say this feeling has increased after the Sunday midnight talks.
A senior functionary said: “We suspect the suggestion to accommodate VK Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran has ulterior motives - a move that is aimed at playing a key role in the post-Assembly election scenario in Tamil Nadu. But our CM (Edappadi K Palaniswami) is firm on not accommodating the Mannargudi family into the party in any manner - either through a merger or through accommodating them in the alliance.”
Another functionary of the AIADMK said when the suggestion to accommodate Sasikala and Dhinakaran in the alliance was made, Palaniswami had effectively explained that such a move would go counter-productive and said how the minimum loss of the community votes’ could be compensated with the recent moves of the government to benefit larger sections of the society. Palaniswami had, during his visit to New Delhi on January 19, ruled out the re-admission of Sasikala and her family. He is firm on his stand on this issue.
When asked about the suggestion for ‘accommodating’ Sasikala and Dhinakaran, a long-time functionary of the AIADMK told TNIE “This is absurd. We just can’t do that. An inquiry commission was formed to inquire into the allegation against certain people over the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. “If we accommodate that family into the party again, it is tantamount to give the power on a platter to the DMK” he added.
Meanwhile, the AIADMK team comprised of Ministers SP Velumani and P Thangamani, AIADMK deputy Coordinators KP Munusamy and R Vaithilingam held the fourth round of talks with the BJP team consisted of party’s State president L Murugan, former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, and party’s in-charge of Tamil Nadu affairs, CT Ravi took part in the talks. BJP sources said the talks might reach their finality on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to visit Nagercoil on March 7 and BJP national president JP Nadda may visit Tamil Nadu on March 10. Since just nine days left for the beginning of filing nominations, the AIADMK is pursuing the seat-sharing talks vigorously to complete it at least within a few days.
AIADMK leaders Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, on Tuesday, in a joint statement here, said the interviewing of party aspirants for Assembly elections would take place on March 4. Both leaders have planned to complete the interview of aspirants from all districts of the State within a day on March 4.
Meanwhile, AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran reiterated that his party was ready to align with any party to stall the DMK from coming to power.
Asked whether Dhinakaran has any intention to align with the AIADMK, he reiterated his stand that the AMMK would lead an alliance to stall the DMK from coming to power again. "In that direction, we are in touch with many parties. I can't reveal the names of the party and the details now. Everything will be clear within a few days. The AMMK is ready to accommodate parties which agree to come under the AMMK alliance."