Chennai: With the confusion that started last week in the AIADMK, after demands were made for a unitary leadership settling down following a warning by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, many in the party feel that this is part of the DMK’s strategy to weaken the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
According to ruling party insiders, the DMK has roped in the services of its functionaries, earlier with the AIADMK, to create unrest in the party. The DMK has promptly refuted this allegation. Without going much into the charge and the denial, News Today takes a look at DMK leaders formerly with the AIADMK.
P K SEKAR BABU
One of the trusted lieutenants of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa, Sekar Babu, the north Chennai strongman, switched over to the DMK in 2011 after he was sidelined by ‘Amma’. He is now an important ‘commander’ in DMK president M K Stalin’s ‘army’ and represents Harbour constituency in the Assembly.
E V VELU
Velu was an MLA (of Thandrampattu) of the AIADMK in the MGR era itself. He then shifted loyalties to the DMK, and, the rest, as they say, is history. Minister for Food in the 2006-11 regime of Karunanidhi, Velu is now one of the top-most functionaries of the DMK, sharing close ties with Stalin.
V SENTHIL BALAJI
The former Transport Minister was the blue-eyed boy of Jayalalithaa. However, as per the unwritten rule in the AIADMK, he too fell out of her favour. But, still, she gave him seat in the 2016 Assembly election, but he was disqualified after he expressed loyalty to AMMK founder T T V Dhinakaran soon after Jayalalithaa’s demise. However, Senthil Balaji is now back in the Assembly as DMK member. Stalin now relies on him heavily for rebuilding the party in the Kongu region.
T M SELVAGANAPATHY
No one can forget the 1991-96 regime of Jayalalithaa. And Selvaganapathy was an integral part of it as he was the Minister of the all-important Local Administration Department. He joined the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in August 2008. In June 2010, he became a member of the Rajya Sabha. In 2014, he was convicted by a court for a financial scam, resulting in his disqualification.
KU KA SELVAM
An MGR-time member of the AIADMK, Selvam is now a DMK MLA from Thousand Lights, a Stalin stronghold since 1996. Interestingly, during the 2016 Assembly elections, he had to fight with his one-time friend B Valarmathi (AIADMK) to win from the constituency.
K K S S R RAMACHANDRAN
In March 1989, violence erupted in the Tamilnadu Assembly. Jayalalithaa was allegedly assaulted by DMK members. At the time, one of the few men who escorted Jayalalithaa out was KKSSR Ramachandran, who is now in the DMK. Popularly Sattur Ramachandran, he served as Minister in the Karunanidhi regime between 2006-11. He is now the Aruppukottai MLA.
Credited as one of the reasons behind Kanimozhi’s victory from Thoothukudi in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections, Anitha Radhakrishnan was a Minister in Jayalalithaa’s 2001-06 regime. After his expulsion from the AIADMK, Radhakrishnan accepted an invitation to join the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Even though there was an anti-incumbency wave against the DMK, he won the 2011 Assembly election in Tiruchendur constituency.
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The list is not exhaustive as there are many others who had shifted loyalties from the AIADMK to the DMK and vice versa. Regupathy, S Muthusamy, Sedapatti Muthiah and Karuppasamy Pandian are among the AIADMK seniors who then became leaders of the DMK. All is fair in politics, they would say.