Chennai: While this is the season of sequels in Tamil cinema thanks to Tamizh Padam 2, Vishwaroopam 2, Saamy Square, Sandakozhi 2 and 2.0, it is also the time for a sequel in Tamilnadu politics. Nearly after two years, the second round of ‘resort politics’ has resumed.
If it was Koovathur on ECR during February 2017 when Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had to prove his majority in the Assembly, the venue this time is a resort at Courtallam.
In anticipation of the verdict in a case related to their disqualification, 18 legislators supporting Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) leader T T V Dhinakaran are staying in the Courtallam resort. This morning, they participated in the Thamirabharani Pushkaram and had a holy dip.
“We are sure that the verdict will come in our favour. We prayed for that in the Pushkaram. We will take rest in the resort for a day or two and go back to Chennai after that,” said Thanga Tamilselvan, one of the 18 disqualified MLAs.
Sources in the AMMK said Dhinakaran is hopeful that the court would strike down the disqualification of the legislators supporting him. “This might result in the ruling dispensation poaching the MLAs by various means. To prevent that, he has asked them to stay together in the resort and heavy security arrangements have been made. Each and every movement is being recorded.”
Apart from the 18 disqualified MLAs, three more legislators – Prabhu (Kallakurichi), V T Kalaiselvan (Vriddhachalam) and Rathinasabapathy (Aranthangi) are also said to be supporting Dhinakaran. “Wait and watch. More MLAs will come to us after the judgement and the days of the EPS-OPS regime are numbered. We are the real AIADMK and TTV will soon take over the party,” says a confident Dhinakaran camp.
But the AIADMK is equally hopeful. “It is the habit of Dhinakaran and his men to make such claims. Right from the day he was removed from the (deputy general secretary) post, he has been predicting the fall of the government, but nothing has happened so far. The party and the government are safe in the hands of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. Let the HC verdict come,” says a senior leader in the ruling party.
The eighteen MLAs were disqualified by Speaker P Dhanapal under the Anti-Defection Act in September 2017. In June this year, the High Court delivered a split verdict, referring the case to a third judge, Justice M Sathyanarayanan, who is expected to give his judgement soon.