Rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran today floated a new political party, the "Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam", named after late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
"From today onwards, we will function with a name to retrieve the great movement of AIADMK from the betrayers," Dhinakaran told a gathering on the occasion, challenging the ruling dispensation in the state.
Dhinakaran and his followers often use the word "betrayers" to refer to the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy, O Panneerselvam.
Announcing the name of the new party, "Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam", roughly translated as "Amma's party for people's development", thrice to a thunderous applause at Melur, near here, Dhinakaran said it was a party of the followers of "Puratchi Thalaivi Amma" (revolutionary leader Amma).
"This party will function in the name of Amma...The Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam will capture power in Tamil Nadu," he said.
Before announcing the party name and unveiling its flag, Dhinakaran traced their background.
He recalled that the original party name -- AIADMK -- and its "two leaves" symbol were frozen by the Election Commission (EC), following a plea by the "betrayers" -- Panneerselvam and E Madhusudanan -- in March 2017.
Subsequently, though the name AIADMK (Amma) was allotted to the faction led by him, eventually it could not be used since the poll panel had allotted the party name of AIADMK and the "two leaves" symbol to the unified factions of Palaniswami and Panneerselvam last November, Dhinakaran said.
"How long can the 1.5 crore cadres work without a name?," he asked, adding that for the last four months, the party workers had faced difficulties in securing permissions from the authorities for party events in the absence of a party name and flag.
Under such circumstances, Dhinakaran said he approached the Delhi High Court, which directed the EC to allot the "pressure cooker" symbol and a party name of his choice to the AIADMK faction led by him.
Even during last December's RK Nagar bypoll, which he won hands down with the "pressure cooker" symbol, "We made the rising sun (DMK's symbol) lose its deposit, and the 'two leaves' (ruling AIADMK) managed to scrape through," Dhinakaran added.
Regretting that party general secretary VK Sasikala could not be with them on the occasion, he said he was announcing the name of the party with her greetings and permission.
Later, Dhinakaran hoisted the new party flag on a 100-foot pole.
Party flag and Amma's legacy
Dhinakaran, who has the support of several dissident AIADMK workers and leaders, said the new outfit would capture power in the state and unveiled its flag, which features the image of a smiling Jayalalithaa.
The flag is black on top and red below with white in the middle.