Jolt to Vijayakant as DMDK MLAs meet Jaya

A gingered move by four opposition Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam (DMDK) MLAs, close to founder Vijayakant, making a sudden beeline for meeting the AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha has raised question marks over the party’s cohesiveness in Tamil Nadu.

 The 29-member DMDK, the principal Opposition Party in the state Legislative Assembly, appears to be in a vulnerable position with four of its MLAs’ meeting the chief minister over the last two days, giving an impression that they may gravitate towards the ruling AIADMK.While the DMDK MLAs, Sunderarajan (Madurai Central) and Tamizhazhagan (Thittakudi) met Jayalalitha at the secretariat here on Friday and submitted a memorandum on development projects for their constituencies, two more MLAspromptly followed suit on Saturday. They included Michael Royappan (Radhapuram) and Arun Pandian (Peravoorani).

The DMDK, which won a good chunk of 29 seats in alliance with the AIADMK, snapped ties with the ruling party, leading to Vijayakant turning a virulent critic of ‘Amma’.  Even as DMK is trying to woo the DMDK leader for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, four of Vijayakant’s ardent backers unilaterally meeting the chief minister has shocked the party.

Contrary to the DMDK chief’s blistering attack on the AIADMK’s anti-people policies including the power crisis, the party MLAs’ after meeting the chief minister lauded her government’s “performance”.

“Amma [Jayalalitha] is implementing good programmes and we want the benefits to flow to our constituencies as well,” the defiant DMDK MLAs’, Royappan and Pandian told reporters on Saturday. It looks like more DMDK MLAs may pick up cue to send a political message to Vijayakant.

 The MLAs also asserted that there was nothing wrong in meeting the AIADMK leader on issues related to development of their constituencies. “To voice people’s concerns and demands to the chief minister, we don’t need anybody’s permission,” Royappan and Pandian shot back, when asked whether they had kept the DMDK chief in the loop.

The actor-turned-politician poured his angst to reporters at Chennai airport on Friday morning. “Is this the most important issue when Tamil Nadu is engulfed in darkness?” burst out Vijayakant, even as one of the actor’s aides allegedly edged out a reporter.

A complaint of assault was filed against Vijayakant in the airport police station.
The DMDK’s senior-most leader and former minister Panruti S Ramachandran was unavailable for comments.
 


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