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In Sasikala-Dhinakaran Battle, AMMK Cadres Are in Chaos in Tamil Nadu

AMMK general secretary TTV Dhinakaran and former AIADMK chief VK Sasikala

AMMK general secretary TTV Dhinakaran and former AIADMK chief VK Sasikala

VK Sasikala has been releasing audiotapes on social media platforms where she is heard saying “let’s restore the legacy and bring in ‘amma’ (Jayalalithaa)-led regime again and send the enemies and traitors home”.

As expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala is trying to re-establish her footing while her nephew and AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran is gearing up for the local body polls in Tamil Nadu, there is a sense of chaos within AMMK cadres.

Sasikala, the close aid of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, has been in talks with volunteers since AIADMK’s defeat in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. She has been releasing audiotapes on social media platforms where she is heard saying “let’s restore the legacy and bring in ‘amma’ (Jayalalithaa)-led regime again and send the enemies and traitors home”. She pointed out that she stepped aside from AIADMK with the hope that O Panneerselvam (OPS) and Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS), the party coordinator and co-coordinator respectively, will win the polls as promised. She also said she would unite the warring factions of the party.

Meanwhile, Amma Makkal Munnettra Kazagam (AMMK) general secretary Dhinakaran also said the Jayalalithaa’s “true volunteers” were on his side. Dhinakaran, who earlier said he would revive the AIADMK, rallied against it in the April assembly elections. When the AMMK contested the polls alone, Sasikala did not support him and rather remained silent. According to sources, lending support to Dhinakaran would mean endangering her own political journey. Also, the ‘no meetings’ between Dhinakaran and Sasikala after the state elections raise the question whether Dhinakaran has been isolated.

It was in this context that Dhinakaran wrote a letter to his party cadres on July 9 urging them to prepare for the upcoming local body elections in the nine districts of Tamil Nadu. He hopes to reap the votes, which he had lost in the state polls. Few of those who left the AIADMK and followed Dhinakaran have now left AMMK and joined the MK Stalin’s DMK and some have returned to the AIADMK. He now hopes to retain at least those in his party with the help of the local body elections.

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Meanwhile, the AIADMK meeting led ​by OPS and EPS during June had passed a resolution against Sasikala, which also saw the expulsion of party functionaries who were in touch with her. The party leadership said Sasikala was trying to hijack the party. But recently, the Kovilpatti segment of AIADMK allegedly passed a resolution that Sasikala should continue as AIADMK general secretary and the party should remove both OPS and EPS.

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first published:July 12, 2021, 21:01 IST