With the ruling AIADMK chief J Jayalalitha all set to don the mantle of chief minister of Tamil Nadu after her acquittal in the disproportionate asset case, a number of Opposition party MLAs are reportedly making a beeline to join her party.
Sitting legislators and senior party functionaries from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), actor Vijayakanth-led Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and various other parties are mulling joining the AIADMK with an eye on 2016 Assembly elections in which the ruling party, as per political analysts, could retain power in Tamil Nadu.
Senior DMK leaders such as Anitha R Radhakrishnan, MLA from Tiruchendur and DMK Tuticorin district secretary V Karuppasamy Pandian were suspended from the primary membership of the DMK for hailing the recent Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting Jayalalitha from the assets case.
The removal Anitha Radhakrishnan, comes in the backdrop of his reported remarks that he was prepared to vacate his Tiruchendur MLA seat to enable Jayalalitha to contest after she assumes office as chief minister.
A DMK strongman in southern districts, Karuppasamy Pandian, a two-time former AIADMK MLA (elected in 1977 and 1980), had quit the ruling party and joined the DMK in the year 2000 and was later appointed as the party Tirunelveli district secretary.
Likewise, PMK Anaicut MLA Kalai Arasu was also suspended by his party high command after he and his supporters hailed Jayalalitha’s acquittal.
In addition, eight DMDK MLAs, who turned rebels recently, such as R Sundararajan from the Madurai Central constituency, K Tamil Azhagan representing Tittakudi, Michael Rayappan from Radhapuram, Arun Pandian representing Peravurani, T Sureshkumar from the Chengam contituency, K Pandiyarajan elected from Virudhunagar, R Santhi belongs to Senthamangalam (ST) constituency and M Arun Subramanian of Tirutanni are expected to join AIADMK party in few weeks.
Apart from this, many senior party functionaries from Congress are also trying to woo AIADMK by making positive statements on Jayalalitha’s comeback. However, the AIADMK camp did not react to the developments.