Tamil Nadu: AIADMK faces dilemma as BJP insists on taking Sasikala on board

Chennai: The ruling AIADMK faced an unusual dilemma with a BJP delegation headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly insisting that they take on board the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) floated by V K Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran for the coming Assembly polls.

Shah was involved in a late night discussion with the AIADMK leadership of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy in Government O Panneerselvam that lasted beyond midnight Sunday. According to sources in the AIADMK, Shah said that the AMMK could be taken on board so that a stronger alliance can take over the DMK-led SecularProgressive Alliance.

“We understand that the BJP leaders said that the AIADMK can allot them around 33 to 35 seats and it would in turn allot a section of these seats to the AMMK. It was also suggested that the AMMK candidates could contest on the AIADMK’s ‘Two Leaves’ symbol. Our top leadership was taken aback,” said an AIADMK leader.

Meanwhile, another ally DMDK played truant demanding 23 seats on a par with the PMK. Party founder Vijayakant’s brother-in-law L K Sudhish indicated that the party would go it alone if the demand was not met.

While it is believed that Panneerselvam, who in the past rebelled against Sasikala, may be open to the suggestion since he is not fully resigned to accepting Palaniswami as Chief Ministerial candidate; the latter is in no mood to compromise. “Palaniswami had made it clear that he will have no truck with Sasikala or Dhinakaran. If the AIADMK accepts the proposal, it will lead to confusion among cadres at this advanced stage of election season,” a source said.

BJP state president L Murugan, however, claimed that this was an internal issue of the AIADMK and the BJP did not make any suggestion to take the AMMK on board. He said the seat sharing talks would be finalised in a day or two.

Meanwhile, the DMK allotted five seats between two Muslim parties – IUML (3) and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (2). Its talks with the Congress, MDMK and VCK remained inconclusive as they could agree on the numbers. The party is yet to open talks with the two Left parties.

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