After a gap, a debate has come up again in the main opposition AIADMK over admitting expelled leaders V K Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran into the party and a chunk of office-bearers appeared to be not in favour of the proposal.
A day after the Theni district functionaries passed a resolution urging the party brass to look into re-admitting the duo into the party to strengthen the AIADMK, some party office-bearers like a former MLA from Coimbatore, Arukutty supported it fully.
However, there were also strong voices against it. The ex-MLA wanted the duo to lead the party. Confidante of late AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, Sasikala’s clout in the party was well known till the former Chief Minister was alive.
Dhinakaran who heads the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) told reporters that a district unit has passed a resolution following ‘introspection’, vis-a-vis electoral losses.
They may have thought that the AIADMK could have fought against the DMK with more strength had there been unity, he said. However, only when the AIADMK as a whole came up with a firm proposal, would he be able to comment anything following consultations with his party functionaries. Dhinakaran asserted there was nothing personal against anyone in the AIADMK.
The AMMK chief’s assertion assumes significance since AIADMK joint coordinator ‘Edappadi’ K Palaniswami (EPS) and his camp is opposed to the duo while coordinator O Panneerselvam (OPS) and his supporters are seen as inclined in favour of Sasikala and Dhinakaran.
Reportedly, while ‘discussions’ were on in the both the camps over the question of Sasikala and her kin, AIADMK veteran Aadhi Rajaram said ‘it is all over’ and that there is nothing left to deliberate.
Rajaram, party’s organising secretary told PTI that a vast majority of office-bearers and functionaries at all levels across Tamil Nadu are not in favour of admitting either Sasikala or Dhinakaran again into the party.
Out of the 75 party districts, 72 had in the past passed resolutions against taking them in, he said. The Theni unit was one among the three party units that had not passed such a resolution. Now, party people from the same Theni region have passed a resolution in favour of Sasikala and Dhinakaran, he said.
Panneerselvam, over a period of time had given ample indications suggestive of favouring deliberations to re-admit Sasikala into the party. In October 2021 too he had said that the party leadership would take a decision on the matter.
Later, the AIADMK had in December, 2021 amended its bylaws to strengthen norms to retain the leadership structure of top two positions held by OPS and EPS. That move virtually precluded any opportunity for the return of Sasikala.
AIADMK sources said admitting Sasikala and Dhinakaran into the party meant handing over the party leadership to them and ‘nothing else’ and hence, it could not be considered.