AIADMK working on wooing MLAs back home while Governor delays floor test

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Chanting the slogan of ‘one mother, one party, one family’ both the factions of the ruling party AIADMK merged to become a single party to accomplish the dream of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and MG Ramachandran.

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and the current Chief Minister E. Palaniswamy on 21 Aug announced the merger of the OPS and EPS faction from the party office in Chennai marking the day as the beginning of the golden period in the history of political equations in Tamil Nadu.

But just the merger will not solve all the turmoil prevailing in Tamil Nadu. After the demise of Jayalalithaa vacating the seat of the Chief Minister, three contenders came forward to fight for the post. Paneerselvam, Palaniswamy and the nephew of Sasikala, TT Dhinakara. Now with the merger, Pannerselvam is the CM and Palaniswamy is the Deputy Chief Minister, side lining Dhinakaran. To make his political presence strong in Tamil Nadu Dhinakaran is taking some tactful steps to bring down the CM.

19 MLAs of AIADMK supporting Dhinakaran on Wednesday, individually wrote a letter to the governor saying that they have no confidence in the current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and that he should prove his majority in the assembly.

The 19 rebel legislators have been shifted and now secured in a luxury resort in Pondicherry out of the reach of AIADMK. This is similar to the incident that took place in in February when over 100 AIADMK MLAs were secured in a resort in Koovathur near Mahabalipuram.

According to a party source, the Governor may take another two weeks approximately before calling for the floor test. AIADMK is utilising this time to lure back the rebel MLAs back to the party. In his statement to ET, the source said that “We believe that the governor will take at least two weeks’ time before calling for a floor test and that much time will help us convince some of the rebel MLAs to return to us.” He also added that unlike the last time in February, this time the 19 MLAs who are secured in the resort have access to mobile phones and reaching them would be easier. The source informed that the work to woo the MLAs have begun and admitted that even if 10 MLAs return to the party, AIADMK can appear for the floor test confidently. With the rebel legislators gone, the party is falling short of two MLAs to win the floor test.

Meanwhile, on the action of the deliberate delay by the Governor Vidyasagar Rao, a Dhinakaran camp loyalist told that “Firstly, this was expected. Secondly, it does not create any crisis in our camp because we are willing to wait. Also, we are sure that more cross-overs will happen in time.” On the other hand, AIADMK faction members held individual discussions with ministers and MLAs to stay put. According to the party, the predominant reasoning to not cross over appears to be the disinclination to topple the government.

AIADMK MLA from Perundurai constituency, Thoppu ND Venkatachalam in his statement to ET said that “No one has spoken to me on staying put in the ruling combine, so the question of being convinced to stay back does not arise. At the same time, the fact that I was not part of the MLAs who gave letters to the Governor means I do not want to topple the government.”

CM  E. Palaniswamy along with Deputy CM Pannerselvam seems to be unmoved with the latest uprising in the politics of Tamil Nadu. Both the leaders sharing the stage in an event near Trichy on Wednesday evening said “People will not accept someone who wants to become a people’s leader without doing anything for the people.”