Last Updated: February 09, 2023, 11:57 IST
Since the DMK-congress pact is intact, TTV Dinakaran is not averse to the NDA alliance. (Photo: ANI Twitter)
Dhinkaran told CNN-News 18 his decision has got nothing to do with the BJP. Dhinkaran further said his party would neither support the ruling DMK or the ‘traitor ADMK’. However, he is open to forming an alliance with a ‘national party’ for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls
TTV Dhinakaran, VK Sasikala’s nephew and an outlying contender to the AIADMK political following in Tamil Nadu, has pulled out his candidate for the hotly contested Erode East bypoll on February 27.
Dhinkaran had originally staked claim to the legacy of Jayalalithaa’s political legacy, taking the space of his aunt Sasikala after she had gone to prison in the assets case that dogged Jayalalithaa till her death in December 2016.
A series of electoral setbacks and trouble with bagging the same symbol ahead of every poll has forced Dhinakaran to drift off from the claim of taking over AIADMK and begin work as a standalone politician with the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam.
In the run-up to the East Erode bypoll, Dhinakaran faced the same issue again: The Election Commissions denied him the ‘pressure cooker’ symbol, which the party had gone to polls with during the previous elections. Dhinakaran’s withdrawal comes amid an open call from the BJP to the multitude of warring factions within and outside of the AIADMK: unite to fight the DMK effectively. The BJP believes warring candidates with the same origins would only split votes and help the DMK win the bypoll.
Dinakaran told CNN-News 18 his decision has got nothing to do with the BJP. “We are not allowed to contest on our symbol. No individual or party has spoken to me or pressured me to withdraw the candidate. We thought we would be allotted the cooker symbol but the EC cited some rules and denied us the symbol we wanted. If they had told us earlier, we would have approached the Supreme Court and tried to get our ‘cooker’ symbol.”
Dinakaran further said his party would neither support the ruling DMK or the ‘traitor ADMK’. However, he is open to forming an alliance with a ‘national party’ for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Speculation is that he is open to joining the NDA alliance.
“As I have said earlier, we are open to forming an alliance with a national party. There are only two national parties-BJP and Congress. If someone approaches us and invites us, we will see,” he said.
Since the DMK-Congress pact is intact, TTV Dinakaran is not averse to the NDA alliance. “If they (BJP) approach us, we will see. I don’t want to answer speculative questions,” he added.
The AIADMK is in the throes of severe fragmentation again. O Panneerselvam, who had been J Jayalalithaa’s Man Friday during her time in prison, had put up another rebellion against leader Edappadi Palaniswami. In some ways, Palaniswami’s move to become the general secretary of the party by dismantling the twin-leadership structure — OPS being the other leader — was the trigger for the top order turmoil at the party now.
While politicians and observers alike find the developments as the “end-game” for OPS, Dhinakaran believes otherwise. “Only the results of the Erode bypoll will show who the real leader is,” says Dhinakaran, referring to the view that Palaniswami is the undisputed leader of the AIADMK.
While the Erode East bypoll would serve as a barometer for DMK’s popularity or the lack of it, the alliances would offer sense of political positioning for the 2024 polls. While the DMK looks keenly set to go to polls with the Congress, Palaniswami’s recent posturing – as though to strike his own path away from the BJP – could rearrange political equations. Should Palaniswami steer AIADMK away from the NDA, the political canvas would turn into a clean slate. It might lead several parties pandering to smaller identity groupings to evaluate the ground reality of the DMK’s rule since 2021, and hitch their wagons to the worthier candidate.
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