Chennai: “There are no permanent friends or foes in politics.” This was one of the oft-repeated statements of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa in her lifetime.
And she was proved right on Friday when in an ironic twist of fate, Thanga Tamilselvan, a former AIADMK MLA who had in 2001 resigned his Andipatti seat to facilitate Jayalalithaa’s election to the Assembly, joined the DMK, a party she wanted to be eliminated from the political map of Tamil Nadu.
In September 2001, just a week before the Supreme Court had unseated Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister on the grounds that she was convicted in the TANSI land deal case, Tamilselvan, then a first-time MLA, had resigned from Andipatti Assembly constituency.
After Jayalalithaa’s death, when the AIADMK split three ways with factions headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and TTV Dhinakaran, nephew of Jayalalithaa’s jailed aide VK Sasikala, Tamilselvan threw in his lot with Dhinakaran.
He was disqualified as legislator under the anti-defection law and later made propaganda secretary of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam floated by Dhinakaran.
In the recent Lok Sabha polls, he was defeated in Theni by Panneerselvam’s son Ravindranath Kumar, the lone successful AIADMK candidate. Recently Tamilselvan began verbally attacking Dhinakaran in public and his attempts to rejoin the AIADMK was stonewalled by O Panneerselvam. Following this he joined the DMK in the presence of party leader MK Stalin on Friday.
Asked how he could switch loyalties to a party against which Jayalalithaa had fiercely campaigned throughout her political journey, Tamilselvam alleged that now the AIADMK was being controlled by the BJP and he was not willing to give up his self respect. “Time has come when the AIADMK and DMK have to travel together,” he quipped.
By Dravida Thambi