Chennai/Puducherry: The TTV Dhinakaran-led camp in the ruling AIADMK on Thursday said he had no intention of becoming the chief minister but continued to press for the ouster of incumbent K Palaniswamy and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
P Vetrivel, loyalist of jailed AIADMK chief VK Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran, told reporters in Chennai that candidature of any other person, including Speaker P Dhanapal, for the chief minister's post was agreeable to them.
In neighbouring Puducherry, the 18 MLAs loyal to Dhinakaran stayed put at a resort amid tight security.
"He (Dhinakaran) is not even an MLA. He doesn't desire to be chief minister. He is not running the party with any such intentions," Vetrivel told reporters outside the residence of Dhinakaran in Chennai.
Earlier, Sasikala's Mannargudi-based brother V Divakaran had also backed Dhanapal to become the chief minister, with Dhinakaran leading the charge against Palaniswamy.
To a question, Vetrivel said the demand of his camp was to remove Palaniswamy and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
The Dhinakaran camp had revolted a day after the factions led by Palaniswamy and O Panneerselvam patched-up.
Vetrivel also said some "corrupt ministers" should "get out".
He said, "Chief minister and corrupt ministers, get out," without naming anyone.
Training his guns on Panneerselvam, the legislator said he had levelled corruption charges against the government and took the fight for AIADMK's two leaves symbol to the Election Commission, and wondered why he was now part of the cabinet.
Vetrivel sought an "explanation" from Palaniswamy for the merger of his Amma faction with that of Panneerselvam.
To a question, he indicated the Dhinakaran faction had no intention of pulling down the AIADMK government.
"We have said nowhere that we will vote against this government. Change the chief minister and explain the reason behind Panneerselvam's induction," he said.
Vetrivel claimed some more MLAs and ministers were in talks with the Dhinakaran faction but declined to reveal names.
Earlier in the day, Dhinakaran supporters burnt posters of Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithilingam, recently 'expelled' by Dhinakaran from the party, besides that of Puducherry unit of unified AIADMK, Om Sakthi Segar.
Segar had on Wednesday led a protest outside the resort in Puducherry where Dhinakaran camp MLAs are staying.
Also, supporters of Vaithilingam had clashed with those of Dhinakaran in Thanjavur recently.
Meanwhile, police was deployed in strength outside the resort, where the 18 MLAs from Dhinakaran camp are staying, in the coastal village of Chinna Veerampattinam in Ariyankuppam commune Panchayat limits near here.
Some of the legislators who spoke to the media while taking a walk pointed out that they were all enjoying a "free atmosphere" and were "united".
Andipatti MLA Thangatamilselvan of the Dhinakaran faction, said, "There is a wrong image about us being projected in a section of the media. The fact is that we are all here to project the correct picture that we all remain united," he said.
Iron barricades were placed across the entry point on the side lane leading to the resort to restrict visitors.
Meanwhile, Perundurai AIADMK MLA and former minister Thopu D Venkatachalam, originally a supporter of Dhinakaran, said he now "continues to be in the AIADMK".
Speaking to reporters, he urged Palaniswamy to hold consultations with all stakeholders to end the impasse.
Published Date: Aug 24, 2017 17:20 PM | Updated Date: Aug 24, 2017 17:20 PM