The rift within the extended family members of V.K. Sasikala, jailed aide of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, widened on Tuesday with her brother V. Dhivakaran disowning the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), floated by her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran. Earlier in the day, Mr. Dhinakaran said “traitors and enemies” had joined hands to weaken the AMMK.
The Hindu had, on Tuesday, reported about the fissures within the Sasikala family over claims made on social media by Mr. Dhivakaran’s son Jeyanandh Dhivakaran that there was an attempt to black out Sasikala’s image from an advertisement issued by some AMMK functionaries.
P. Vetrivel, one of the 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs and a staunch supporter of Mr. Dhinakaran, had strongly criticised Mr. Jeyanandh in a Facebook post.
Against this backdrop, addressing reporters in Mannargudi on Tuesday evening, Mr. Dhivakaran described the AMMK as a “mushroom which had grown just yesterday”, and that he could not accept it.
He accused Mr. Dhinakaran of floating the new party secretly without consulting second-line and district-level leaders. “He does not want any trace of the AIADMK in the new party as they may raise questions,” Mr. Dhivakaran claimed.
He answered in the negative when asked whether he would participate in the demonstration planned to be held in Tiruvarur by the AMMK seeking the constitution of Cauvery Management Board (CMB). Similarly, he would not work with Mr. Dhinakaran in next year’s Lok Sabha elections. “We belong to the Amma (Jayalalithaa) faction and not anywhere else,” he asserted. According to him, misinformation was being spread by certain people that he was in touch with Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.
Mr. Dhivakaran claimed that he had no difference of opinion with Mr. Dhinakaran. It was only the latter’s associates who were claiming so through statements made by Mr. Vetrivel. Mr. Dhivakaran ruled out the possibility of any talks with Mr. Dhinakaran’s faction.
Earlier, leading a protest demanding the constitution of the CMB in Thanjavur, Mr. Dhinakaran warned that he would not hesitate to remove anyone including his relatives from the party if they tried to cheat him.
‘Falsehood and rumours’
Mr. Dhinakaran said the traitors and enemies had joined hands to weaken the AMMK. The ruling party, by utilising the services of the intelligence department, was spreading falsehood and rumours on various social media platforms. The party men should exercise restraint while using social media.
Warning to ‘wrongdoers’
Mr. Dhinakaran added that attempts were being made to spread confusion among AMMK cadre on social media over the last two days. There was no need to reply to social media posts which were against the truth. “If anyone posts anything against the interest of AMMK, I will not hesitate to remove him from the party. The wrongdoers, even if they are my relatives, will not be spared,” Mr. Dhinakaran warned without referring to anyone directly.
Claiming that all 18 disqualified MLAs and four MLAs on his side remained united, Mr. Dhinakaran said that he would not bow down to anyone for political gain.
Meanwhile, Mr Jeyanandh in a statement issued on the letter pad of an outfit called ‘Bose Makkal Paniyagam’ said he and his supporters were being insulted by Mr Dhinakaran and AMMK functionaries.
Rejecting the charges of Mr. Vetrivel that he and his father were supporting the Chief Minister, Mr. Jeyanandh claimed that his relatives were being targeted by Mr. Edappadi K. Palaniswami only because they were his relatives.
“To this day, I and Mr. Dhivakaran have been saying TTV (Dhinakaran) would be the Chief Minister in all public meetings and we have not expressed any expectations. However, we have expressed our disagreements sometimes. The least we expect is the basic respect a man gives to another,” he said.