Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK and rebel T T V Dhinakaran seem to be in a dilemma on how to tackle each other.
While the AIADMK is mulling seeking an explanation from at least three more MLAs who have sided with rebel leader Dhinakaran on why they should not be disqualified as legislators, the party has also extended an olive branch to all those who have left the outfit to return back.
And Dhinakaran’s faction is quite unclear whether to face by-polls after the Madras High Court verdict upholding disqualification of 18 MLAs or appeal against the order in the Supreme Court. Though the disqualified MLAs announced on Friday that they will go for an appeal, Dhinakaran on Sunday morning said that a final decision on the issue would be arrived at by Wednesday.
Political observers said the dilemma is only because both the AIADMK and TTV faction realise that they cannot survive on their own and are biding time for negotiations for a merger.
Though the verdict has placed Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on a firm footing within the ruling party, he feels the atmosphere is not conducive for the party to face by-polls in 20 constituencies — which is very risky since his government is already surviving on a wafer-thin majority.
“If the votes of the AIADMK gets split between the party and the faction led by TTV, it will only benefit our rival — the DMK. So, both the AIADMK leadership and Dhinakaran should sit and sort out their differences and put up a show of unity,” a senior AIADMK leader, who has taken a neutral stand, told DH.
It is only because of this realisation that fresh disqualification of MLAs would only alienate the TTV faction from the party, leaders said, the AIADMK issued a statement signed by Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam inviting all those who drifted away to come back.
“Already, the decision to issue a show cause notice to MLA Karunas, who won on AIADMK ticket backfired with the legislator sending a notice to the Assembly secretary seeking to remove the speaker. So, the move to issue show cause notice to three more MLAs is shelved for now,” another leader said.
As far as Dhinakaran is concerned, political observers say he seems to be not very keen on contesting the elections immediately and wants to bide his time to regroup after the huge setback in the form of the high court verdict. Sources in the camp said a few MLAs are not happy with the idea of facing the by-polls at a time when more than 2.5 years of the government’s tenure is still left.