Exclusive: BJP Wants Dhinakaran To Join AIADMK Before TN Polls

VK Sasikala, TTV Dhinakaran’s aunt and former AIADMK general secretary, had retired from political life on 3 March.

Updated
Politics
3 min read
File image of TTV Dhinakaran.
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The Bharatiya Janata Party which is in an alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu feels that TTV Dhinakaran, leader of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) too will eventually have to stand in support of “AIADMK family”.

Meaning, in a first of its kind admission that the BJP national leadership could be encouraging Dhinakaran to negotiate with AIADMK, a senior party leader told The Quint, “They are all part of the same AIADMK family. We think that TTV Dhinakaran should also follow Sasikala’s example and support the AIADMK”.

The senior leader said, “We want all the factions of AIADMK to come together and stand as one alliance”.

After the demise of former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa in 2016, her close aide VK Sasikala became general secretary of AIADMK. When she was ousted shortly after from this position, Sasikala along with her nephew TTV Dhinakaran formed AMMK. Sasikala was imprisoned in a disproportionate assets case in 2017 and was incarcerated for four years. She was released on 27 January 2021 and had since been holding discussions to contest Legislative Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

On 3 March, however, she announce that she will step down from active politics and public life.

BJP Wants To Work with ‘AIADMK Factions’

The senior leader of the BJP said that while the BJP respects TTV Dhinakaran’s decision to contest elections as the leader of the AMMK, it will be ideal “if a united AIADMK came into being”.

The leader implied that if AMMK contests separately it will be “a drawback for the alliance”. Indicating a possible alliance in the future, the leader said, “To form a government in Tamil Nadu, it is better if these factions came together. Otherwise there will be damage to the alliance”.

TTV Dhinakaran was a former MP of AIADMK and hence the reference to ‘factions’.

Meanwhile, sources in AIADMK felt that the party is under pressure to consider AMMK as an ally even though they do not want to. Incumbent Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy and former CM O Panneerselvam had both opposed any alliance with Sasikala or Dhinakaran. “AIADMK is facing pressure to reconsider their stand on Dhinakaran. Now Sasikala has met them halfway,” a political leader in the know of alliance talks, said.

The next move for AIADMK will be to recall Dhinakaran into the fold, the AIADMK source said. “The party thinks that this cannot happen before the Assembly election,” he added.

However, the BJP is all for settling the matter once and for all before ballots are cast on 6 April. “As the national party in alliance, the BJP wants all factions of AIADMK to pave the way for working together,” the senior leader said.

Will Dhinakaran Approach AIADMK?

Sources in the national BJP leadership said that the stage is set for alliance talks between the two “factions”. “For Dhinakaran and AIADMK leaders the common enemy is the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. In principle they are all anti-DMK. In principle they are all united,” a leader said.

When asked whether Dhinakaran too would make any announcements along the lines of Sasikala, the leader said, “In a day or two he too may say that he wants to join the AIADMK alliance. The BJP will welcome that”.

Ironically, the leader said that the BJP’s attempt is to make sure that no “family party rules Tamil Nadu”. The DMK which had passed the mantle from Karunanidhi to MK Stalin will only prop-up Udayanidhi Stalin as the next heir, he added. Udayanidhi is Opposition leader Stalin’s son.

Why should AMMK alone make political sacrifices? The AIADMK too will soon make a move to start an “amicable relationship with its estranged leaders,” the source in the BJP said.

Will this mean a pre-poll political alliance between AIADMK and Dhinakaran? Watch this space.

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