Dhinakaran removes Palaniswamy loyalists from party posts, says Sasikala approved new appointments

Upset over the merger of the two factions of AIADMK, 19 legislators loyal to TTV Dhinakaran told Governor C Vidyasagar Rao that they have lost confidence in Chief Minister EK Palaniswamy. As the legislators proceeded to a resort in Puducherry, reports emerged that Dhinakaran has sacked several district functionaries considered close to Palaniswamy from their party positions and instead appointed his own supporters.

On Wednesday, he removed transport minister MR Vijayabhaskar from the post of party secretary and earlier in the day, he removed revenue minister RB Udayakumar, who was the secretary of Puratchi Thalaivi Amma Peravai.

In a statement, Dhinakaran said that Manamadurai MLA S Mariappan Kennedy has been appointed as secretary of the Amma Peravai. According to a report in The Times of India, Kennedy is one of the 19 legislators who withdrew support from the chief minister.

"I request the cadres to extend support to Kennedy. This announcement is made with the approval of party general secretary VK Sasikala," Dhinakaran said in the statement.

A file image of TTV Dhinakaran. Getty Image

A file image of TTV Dhinakaran. Getty Image

VV Rajan Chennappa has also been removed as party Madurai urban secretary by Dhinakaran.

On Tuesday, Dhinakaran had removed R Vaithilingam from the primary membership of the party. The move came after Vaithilingam said steps should be taken for the removal of Sasikala from the AIADMK. "I request party workers to not to have any talks with him," Dinakaran said in a statement.

According to an India Today report, he said that this announcement has also been made with the "approval" of Sasikala. Following the disciplinary action against Vaithilingam, clashes were reported in his hometown Thanjavur but he said that Dhinakaran's decision would be invalid because his own appointment has been challenged before the Election Commission.

Vaithilingam's post is now occupied by M Sekar. His utterances are being seen as high treason because after he lost the Assembly election last May, Sasikala reportedly played a critical part in pushing his case with J Jayalalithaa to send him to Parliament, as Firstpost pointed out. However, as TS Sudhir points out in the piece, removing leaders from party positions is only an act of false bravado by Dhinakaran, given that his rivals have already declared his appointment as null.

Dhinakaran has also appointed his relative and Thanjavur north district secretary M Rengasamy as one of the organising secretaries of the party. The AIADMK rebels have proposed the name of KA Sengottaiyan as chief minister.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Aug 23, 2017 17:04 PM

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