Two years have passed since her hospitalisation and more factions and fissures seem to have mushroomed in the party, once dubbed as a strong party which propelled Jayalalithaa as a national leader from the Dravidian heartland.
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the third largest party in the country is now marred by in fights. Though the DMK forfeited its deposit in the crucial RK Nagar by polls, the opposition party can feel a little respite as the AIADMK (led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam) and the faction led by rebel AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, are suffering in fights. According to AIADMK sources, who are aware of the developments in all the splinter groups, including J Deepa, niece of Jayalalithaa, the infighting is very much there.
“The first causality of the in fight is the group led by J Deepa. She started well by opposing Sasikala and her family, but lacked the political acumen,” said party old timer and MGR Mandram north Chennai functionary Poonganagar Selvam. Apollo Hospitals is also one of the reasons for the splinter groups in AIADMK.
If the hospital had released the visuals of Amma on a regular basis with more medical records, the controversies, judicial commission and the infighting in the party could have been averted,” Selvam opined. The dissent continues and recently raised its ugly head in the presence of Panneerselvam and Palaniswami with former ministers KP Munusamy and SP Shanumuganathan openly declaring that the current ministers were weakening the party particularly when the polls are around the corner.
The situation is such that the party convenor Panneerselvam had only - one-liners as the response when the scribes asked about the recent speech of AIADMK MLAs Shanmughanathan and actor Karunaas. “We have asked for explanations,” he said.
When contacted about the growing factional feud and the Amma factor being missing, KP Munusamy, a senior leader chose not to go into the details. “It’s our in-house issue and we have sought it out. Fights are common in any political party and why is media so excited about it,” Munusamy asked back.
It may be noted that AMMK was also not immune to factions and fence sitters.
Staunch supporters of TTV Dhinakaran and TN representative in Delhi Thalavai Sundaram and Tenkasi MP Vasanthi Murugesan shifted their loyalties to the Palaniswami camp.
The AMMK also suspended a disgruntled Bullet Parimalam and stripped of the party’s Kancheepuram town secretary post from him, when he made an attempt to burn the effigy of Dhinakaran in front of his Adyar bungalow.