A showdown

The political situation in Tamilnadu has taken a new turn with AMMK  founder T T V Dhinakaran stating that the 18 disqualified AIADMK  MLAs, who support him, will not go on appeal against the Madras High Court verdict. He had further said they are ready to face the by-election any time. Interestingly, it comes a couple of days after AIADMK  leaders Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam made an  emotional appeal to the MLAs to return to the parent party.

After labelling them as betrayers, the AIADMK extended an olive branch to the disqualified MLAs, asking them to jump on to the ruling party bandwagon. Urging the debarred MLAs and other Dhinakaran loyalists who moved away from the AIADMK to revert to the parent party, the top leadership (Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam) asked them to ‘understand the reality’ of the Madras High Court judgement that upheld their disqualification. “We invite you with love and affection to join again the massive people’s movement nurtured by Puratchi Thalaivar MGR and Puratchi Thalaivi Amma,” OPS, the party’s coordinator, and EPS, the joint coordinator, said in a statement packed with sentimental words.

Now that they are ready to face by-elections, it is over to the ballot now. Meanwhile, the main Opposition, the DMK, is keeping its fingers crossed. It is watching the developments from the sidelines quietly, but is ready with its strategies. They are geared up to make use of the situation in case of by-poll at the earliest. Twenty seats are up for grabs. A landslide victory for the DMK would mean a change of guard in the State. A mini Assembly election, indeed. And, since the stakes are high, it would be a high-pitched battle this time.

NT Bureau