Chennai: One more AIADMK MLA on Friday joined the TTV Dhinakaran faction, taking the number of MLAs supporting the rival leader to three, prompting the ruling party to accuse the dissident camp of "brainwashing" legislators.
A Prabhu, representing Kallakurichi, called on Dhinakaran at his residence and said he joined the latter's camp out of his own volition.
"Only Dhinakaran annan (elder brother) and Chinnamma (Dhinakaran's aunt VK Sasikala) have the capability to steer the party," he told reporters.
Sasikala is currently serving a prison term at Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru after being convicted in a disproportionate assets case.
Prabhu is the first AIADMK legislator to jump on to the Dhinakaran bandwagon after last year's disqualification of 18 MLAs.
Two other MLAs — E Rathinasabhapathy (Aranthangi) and VT Kalaiselvan (Vriddhachalam) had extended support to Dhinakaran August, 2017 ahead of the disqualification.
Prabhu said several of his requests for his constituency like carving out a separate district with Kallakurichi as the headquarters remained unfulfilled.
He said he took the decision to align with Dhinakaran "to effectively serve the people of his constituency."
Senior AIADMK leader and Revenue Minister RB Udhaya Kumar, reacting to Prabhu switching loyalty, accused Dhinakaran faction of "brainwashing (MLAs) and spreading the net for them one after the other."
"Those who (had already) deserted us are brainwashing, he (Prabhu) is good (nalla thambi)... he will come back... all of them will be back,"he said, adding Chief Minister K Palaniswamy had been fulfilling Prabhu's requests for the constituency.
On Prabhu joining his faction, Dhinakaran asserted that "we did not persuade anyone (to join his camp). However, all legislators were in touch with his camp as all of them belong to the same party. "all of them are our kin," he said.
S Karunas of Mukkolathor Pulippadai, an ally of the ruling AIADMK, who had won on a ruling party ticket, had accompanied Dhinakaran to the Raj Bhavan in September, 2017 indicating his support to the rival leader.
Asked if he supported Dhinakaran now, Karunas said: "I will take a decision," but declined to elaborate. U Thaniyarasu (Kongu Ilaignar Peravai) and M Thammemun Ansari (Jayananayaka Manithaneya Makkal Katchi), two other allies of the ruling AIADMK had in the past acted in cohesion with Karunas on several issues.
However,their present stand is not clear.The Kallakurichi MLA has joined the rival camp at a time when the Madras High Court's verdict on the disqualification of 18 Dhinakaran loyalists is expected soon.
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Updated Date: Feb 23, 2018 20:40:49 IST