Dhinakaran loyalist Thanga Tamilselvan joins DMK

Dhinakaran loyalist Thanga Tamilselvan joins DMK

Thanga Tamilselvan (Image courtesy ANI/Twitter)

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) leader Thanga Tamilselvan, who resigned as Andipatti MLA to pave way for late J Jayalalithaa to get elected to the House in 2002 to take over as Chief Minister, joined arch-rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Friday, in a major boost to the Opposition party.

Tamilselvan’s exit from AMMK led by T T V Dhinakaran is a body blow to the AIADMK rebel whose party suffered humiliating defeat during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and by-elections to 22 assembly constituencies. Tamilselvan has had a running battle with Dhinakaran ever since the results were out. The ties came to a breaking point when an audio in which Tamilselvan was heard using objectionable language to refer to Dhinakaran.  

Tamilselvan is the third high-profile leader from the AMMK to quit the party and join the DMK with V V Senthil Balaji and V P Kalairajan being the other two. The induction of Tamilselvan into the DMK will be a boost to the Opposition party whose organisational structure in Theni district is weak.

The AMMK has been beset with problems ever since it failed to make any impact in the Lok Sabha polls by securing just 5 per cent votes. The party has witnessed a steady stream of deserters that included those who contested the elections as the party candidates returning to AIADMK, the parent party.

Tamilselvan is one of the senior leaders who had been with Dhinakaran ever since he made re-entry into the party in 2017 and his leaving would be seen as a big blow to the AMMK.  He is also one of the 18 party leaders who were disqualified as MLAs by Speaker P Dhanapal in 2017 for owing allegiance with Dhinakaran and submitting a letter expressing no confidence against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

Tamilselvan got into Jayalalithaa’s good books when he vacated Andipatti in 2001 after she desired to get elected to the Assembly from the seat held by her mentor MGR from 1984 to 1987. He later represented Andipatti, which is part of Theni Lok Sabha seat, from 2011 to 2017 until he was disqualified for siding with Dhinakaran.