The MLAs of the ruling AIADMK-Amma on Wednesday called on party deputy general secretary T T V Dhinakaran, being opposed by Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led camp, sparking speculations over the government’s stability.
However, Finance Minister D Jayakumar, representing the cabinet, asserted that there is “no threat” to the government and dubbed the legislators’ meeting with Dhinakaran as “personal”.
“There is no threat to the government and it will continue through its tenure till 2021,” he told reporters in Chennai.
The MLAs met Dhinakaran amid the stand-off between him and the Palaniswami camp, which has revolted against him and jailed party general secretary V K Sasikala and decided to keep them away from the party affairs.
With Dhinakaran, appointed by Sasikala, going back on his earlier assurance to withdraw from party affairs, the ministers and senior party functionaries yesterday held a meeting and reiterated their opposition to him. Dhinakaran, however, had mocked at their meeting and questioned their authority to remove office-bearers appointed by the general secretary.
“We (Palaniswami government) are having the absolute majority and that is not an issue,” Jayakumar said answering a question.
He said the legislators’ meeting with Dhinakaran was at a “personal level,” and added “it should not be politicised... A stable regime is on and there is no connection between the government and their meeting (Dhinakaran).” Jayakumar said while the party was being led by a panel of seniors, the government was steered by Chief Minister K Palaniswami.
“All are happy but some have worries, I am not going to say anything about that,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a notable mark of the assertion of authority, Palaniswami’s portrait was featured in the chambers of several state ministers in addition to those of late chief minister Jayalalithaa.
Also, new images of AIADMK founder and late chief minister M G Ramachandran could be seen in the chambers. When O Panneerselvam was chief minister, only the portraits of Jayalalithaa alone found the place in the ministers’ chambers.
Earlier in the day, some legislators, including Thanga Tamilselvan, V P Kalairajan and former transport minister V Senthil Balaji, called on Dhinakaran at his residence Chennai. Dhinkaran had returned to the city on June 3 after obtaining bail in the case related to alleged attempt to bribe EC officials.
He had on Wednesday met Sasikala in the Bengaluru prison, where she is serving her term in the disproportionate assets case.
Thanga Tamilselvan, a known loyalist of Dhinakaran, said only Sasikala and Dhinakaran were authorised to decide on party matters.
Hitting out at Jayakumar for asking Dhinakaran to stick to his assurance to “keep off” party work, he said, “it is Jayakumar’s personal view, it is not valid.” Asked if action can be expected against Jayakumar for breach of party discipline, he said, “for sure, that information will come.”
Legislators belonging to eight districts met Chief Minister K Palaniswami today at the state secretariat. According to Jayakumar, the meeting was about the issues in constituencies against the backdrop of commencement of Assembly session on June 14.