AMMK in AIADMK Alliance? No Consensus Yet
Media reports stated that the BJP had asked the AIADMK to accommodate AMMK into the alliance.
With seat-sharing talks underway, reports have emerged that the BJP has asked the AIADMK to accommodate TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK into the alliance. On Tuesday, when AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran was asked if he was okay to be in an alliance with the AIADMK and BJP to defeat DMK, he said, " We will accept anyone who accepts our leadership. Any party that opposes DMK and that does not want DMK to come to power can come to our leadership and we will hold talks with them.”
TTV Dhinakaran had just finished a meeting with Sasikala, at her residence in T Nagar on Tuesday.
Though this is Dhinakaran's public posturing, sources in the party confirm that no talks have happened with the AIADMK or BJP yet. “There are no talks with the BJP or the AIADMK,” said a source in the AMMK to TNM. The AMMK source further told TNM that the party is looking to form a Third Front in the upcoming Assembly elections. However, he did not confirm who the party is in talks with.
Media reports stated that the issue of AMMK being brought into the alliance was discussed during a late night Sunday meeting between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP Secretary BL Santhosh with Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam. The BJP had reportedly stated that it would allot seats to the AMMK from its share of seats in the alliance. However, Edappadi Palaniswami had expressed ‘serious concerns’ over the idea given that he had categorically ruled out the entry of VK Sasikala, aide of former CM Jayalalithaa and expelled AIADMK General Secretary, into the party following her release from Bengaluru jail.
Sasikala had on Jayalalithaa’s birth anniversary last week said, “Supporters of Jayalalithaa should come together and our aim should be what Jayalalithaa had told us- AIADMK should rule the state for 100 years. We should keep that always in our hearts. All AIADMK cadres should ensure the party wins and we should form the government. I believe we will do it, because you are the true supporters of Jayalalithaa. You all will make it possible. Soon I'll meet the public and cadres”.
Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran were removed as AIADMK General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary in September 2017 by the party’s general council. Their removal was one of the preconditions of the merger of the faction led by O Panneerselvam with the one led by EPS. Following her release from jail, Sasikala has moved court challenging her removal from the top AIADMK post.
(This story was first published on The News Minute and has been republished here with permission.)
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