Chennai | Expelled AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam (OPS) on Monday called on Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam chief T T V Dhinakaran and the leaders announced a working arrangement to take on both the Edappadi K Palaniswami-led AIADMK and the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu.
About six years after he severed ties with Dhinakaran, Panneerselvam joined hands with him and veteran leader Panruti S Ramachandran said a new arrangement has been finalised between Panneerselvam and Dhinakaran, resembling the alignment between the CPI and CPI(M). The move is based on the wish of party workers, he said.
Dhinakaran is the nephew of Sasikala and the duo were eased out of the party in 2017 after OPS and Palaniswami, now general secretary of the AIADMK, merged their respective factions.
Ramachandran, an OPS loyalist who took part in the meeting, said the former chief minister would soon meet V K Sasikala, the confidante of former party supremo J Jayalalithaa. Sasikala has also been meeting her supporters across the State to take on Palaniswami.
After the nearly 40-minute meeting at his posh Adyar residence in the city, Dhinakaran told reporters: "We want to defeat our betrayers (Palaniswami) and our enemies (DMK)." All smiles, Panneerselvam and Dhinakaran shook hands, which signalled the coming together of key leaders who were expelled from the AIADMK. Panneerselvam and his supporters were ousted from the party last year and some related matters challenging it are before court.
Dhinakaran, who founded the AMMK in 2018, said there had never been any kind of enmity or inimical sentiments between him and OPS and they had been apart for some reasons and were now coming together.
Stating that he would soon meet 'Chinnamma' (as Sasikala is called by her supporters), Panneerselvam asserted that the arrangement was the first step towards realising the goal of bringing together "Amma's cadres". To another question, he said court matters in connection with the expulsion from AIADMK was pending in court and a legal battle would be carried forward.
Dhinakaran said: "We are not joining hands based on any selfishness and our only goal is to place Puratchi Thalaivar's (M G Ramachandran, the founder of AIADMK) organisation on the hands of true cadres of Amma (late party matriarch Jayalalithaa)." The party has to be reclaimed from those who "hijacked" it, the AMMK top leader said apparently hitting out at Palaniswami. He also slammed the ruling DMK as an "evil force". The arrangement is the wish of the party workers and it has now been formalised.
Responding to a query on acrimony between Dhinakaran and OPS, all the three leaders said only future goals were important and there is no need to dwell on the past.
On him meeting Chief Minister M K Stalin's son-in-law V Sabareesan days ago, OPS said it had absolutely nothing to do with politics and the meeting happened at the venue of a sporting event in full public glare. It was out of courtesy and decorum, he added.