Chennai: The ruling AIADMK Thursday flayed rebel leader T T V Dhinakaran for saying it would “struggle” to secure deposit in the bypolls to 20 Assembly seats, including those of the 18 disqualified party MLAs, and said those in the rival camp were in a “confused state of mind.”
It said Dhinakaran’s statement showed how much the family of deposed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, including Dhinakaran, was “against” former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. On Wednesday, Dhinakaran had said in Madurai that the 18 disqualified MLAs will not appeal against the Madras High Court verdict upholding their disqualification, as decided by them originally, and face the elections, seen as a U-turn by his critics.
AIADMK ridiculed Dhinakaran for his volte-face and said the disqualified MLAs were in a “confused state of mind.” “They have perhaps decided against appealing since it is clear that they might not win the case in the Supreme Court. Two judges (of the Madras High Court) had upheld the disqualification,” party spokesperson R M Babu Murugavel, also an advocate, told PTI.
Another senior party leader Vaigai Chelvan also lashed out at Dhinakaran. The Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) leader was actually responsible for bypolls to the constituencies as his loyalists were now disqualified, he said.
He had led the disqualified MLAs against the ‘Amma‘ government, Chelvan said. “He himself is not consistent on his decisions. Initially it was decided by his camp that they would appeal against the High Court verdict but now they want to face polls,” he said.
Quoting from a Tamil saying, he said Dhinakaran was not a dependable person. Dhinakaran had exuded confidence that his AMMK will trump the AIADMK in the bypolls.
“We are not going for an appeal. We will be facing the polls… AMMK will secure a grand victory in all 20 seats and AIADMK has to struggle to even secure deposit,” he had said. While the 18 segments have fallen vacant following the disqualification process, two other seats – Thiruvarur and Thirupparankundram – are also vacant due to the death of the respective MLAs, then DMK chief M Karunanidhi, and AK Bose of the AIADMK.
Opposition parties, including DMK, have demanded that bypolls should be immediately held for all 20 seats. Earlier, following the 25 October High Court order upholding their disqualification by Speaker P Dhanapal last year, the MLAs had decided to move the apex court, after holding consultations with Dhinakaran in Madurai.
The Madras High Court had upheld the 14 June order of the then chief justice disqualifying them. Justice M Sathyanarayanan had heard the pleas of the rival parties after a bench of then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave a split verdict on 14 June.
On Thursday, Murugavel took exception to Dhinakaran’s remarks that AIADMK would ‘struggle’ to secure deposit in the 20 seats if bypolls were held there.
“When he himself says that AIADMK will lose deposit, it shows how much they (Sasikala’s family) were against the party and Amma,” he said. Jayalalithaa is addressed as Amma by party supporters.
To a query, he said his party was prepared to face the polls anytime. This was evident from the fact that it had recently named election in-charge for all 20 seats, including AIADMK coordinator and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, for the respective segments.
Murugavel expressed confidence that the ruling party would emerge victorious in all 20 seats, if the elections were to be held “even tomorrow.”