With the two main AIADMK factions led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam burying the hatchet and moving to oust party general secretary V K Sasikala, her loyalists, led by nephew and party deputy general secretary T T V Dinakaran, only had one refrain, “Party is first”, Indian Express report said.
As per the report, out of 233-members in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Dinakaran enjoys the support of at least 20 legislators, a number that can risk the majority of the ruling party in the state Assembly. Three Independent MLAs, who were earlier with him seemed to have changed sides.
Leaders supporting Dinakaran said they cannot promise the stability of the state government in the wake of the decision to move against Sasikala. These leaders also hinted that their first target would be Palaniswami, rather than the government. The chief minister will be asked to prove that he has the support of all party MLAs. In case he fails, they will insist on another leader who has their backing as well, the paper added.
Dinakaran is yet to respond on the merger. “As I have a sore throat and fever, the doctor has advised me rest. Will meet you all on August 23,” he said in a tweet addressed to the media. Of the 20 MLAs supporting Dinakaran, 18 legislatures claimed that Dinakaran had the support of 25 MLAs. They also said that neither Palaniswami, nor Panneerselvam has powers to call a meeting of the party general council or remove Sasikala from her post.
The main Opposition party in the state, DMK has remained silent so far. Party’s working president M K Stalin, who earlier had said he would move a no-confidence motion if needed, did not discuss plans during the interaction with reporters on Monday, Indian Express said.