TTV takes a swipe at party strongman Senthil Balaji

Chennai: Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T T V Dhinakaran Thursday made a veiled attack on V Senthil Balaji, former minister and his senior party colleague, saying none will repent if some with selfish interests were to quit the party.

In the wake of speculation that Senthil Balaji, a Karur-based party strongman is likely to join the DMK, Dhinakaran, without naming him, said it will be wrong to assume that the party will be affected “if some persons or a small group is to leave the organisation for their selfish interests.”

Dhinakaran, in a statement here, comparing dedicated party workers to “true gold,” said no one will repent if gold plated “fake” were to move out of the party. “Our foundation is Amma’s (Jayalalithaa) ideals, and people’s welfare is our task,” the AMMK leader said.

Without naming the former minister, he said it would be better if those who held views contradictory to the goals of the party eased themselves out of the outfit. Balaji was transport minister during 2011-15 in the previous AIADMK government led by late J Jayalalithaa.

In 2016, though he won from Aravakkurichi constituency, he could not find a place again in the Jayalalithaa-led Cabinet. Following her death in December 2016, Balaji sided with the Dhinakaran faction and was subsequently disqualified along with 17 other AIADMK MLAs for anti-party activities.

Their disqualification was recently upheld by the Madras High Court. Considered to be among those close to party deputy general secretary Dhinakaran, Balaji, who is AMMK organising secretary, did not take part in a party procession here to observe the death anniversary of Jayalalithaa on 5 December.