Two more DMDK MLAs meet Jaya

Speculation about a possible revolt in actor Vijaykant-led DMDK, estranged ally of ruling AIADMK, deepened as two more MLAs of the principal opposition party in the Tamil Nadu Assembly today met Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and showered praise on her governance.

S Michael Rayappan (Radhapuram) and C Arun Pandian (Peravurani) called on Jayalalithaa at the Secretariat, a day after two of their party MLAs met her.

Emerging from the meeting today, the two MLAs said they discussed developmental works in their constituencies.

The development has given rise to speculation about a possible rebellion in the DMDK, which has 29 MLAs, as Vijaykant has been at loggerheads with Jayalalithaa after she snapped ties with her ally in the last year assembly elections.

Lavishing praise on Jayalalithaa Government for launching several "good" programmes, Rayappan and Pandian, also a film actor, said "Amma (as Jayalalithaa is described by her AIADMK workers) has assured to help us".

MDMK MLAs S Sunderarajan and K Tamil Azhagan had met Jayalalithaa yesterday under a similar pretext of development.

Vijaykant, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, refused to react to the party MLAs meeting the Chief Minister, saying there were more important issues facing the state.
"You ask about problems about electricity and dengue", was the curt response of visibly annoyed Vijayakant when reporters sought his response at the airport here.

The DMDK chief and some of his party supporters were also involved in an altercation with journalists and a reporter was pushed down allegedly by one of the DMDK MLAs when he persisted for a reaction.

Various journalists organisations, including the Madras Reporters' Guild and Chennai Press Club, condemned the incident.

The guild demanded an apology from Vijaykant, saying such "irresponsible behaviour" by the Leader of the Opposition and his party MLAs was a challenge to the media.

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