Jayakumar says DMK allies may cross over to the AIADMK-led alliance

AMMK leader says he is not keen on having a truck with Palaniswami

Former Minister and AIADMK organisation secretary D. Jayakumar said on Thursday that parties now part of the DMK-led coalition might cross over to the front headed by his party for the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

Asked whether the ‘mega alliance,’ an idea being floated by the party’s interim general secretary, Edappadi K Palaniswami, would include the Congress, he replied that the proposed alliance would be finalised only on the eve of the election.

He reiterated the point of Mr. Palaniswami that there was little possibility of the alliance roping in AMMK general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran, former interim general secretary V.K.Sasikala and deposed coordinator O. Panneerselvam.

AMMK’s reply

Meanwhile, Mr. Dhinakaran told journalists that neither his party nor himself was keen on aligning with Mr. Palaniswami, who, he said, was speaking out of “frustration”. All that “I have been saying is that followers of Amma [former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa] should come together under one umbrella to defeat the DMK.”

Asked how he was ready to join hands with Mr. Panneerselvam, who had once criticised the AMMK leader’s family, Mr. Dhinakaran replied that the AIADMK’s former coordinator repented for what he did. “When a person has undergone reformation, there is no wrong in extending a hand of friendship to him,” he said.

Accusing the DMK of being afraid of the BJP, the AMMK leader contended that the ruling party, just to please the national party, would even “eject” the Congress out of its front at the time of the election. As for the Lok Sabha election, there were only two options — to go along with the Congress or the BJP. If either of the options did not materialise, his party would go it alone, he said.

Asked whether Mr, Palaniswami, by ruling out the possibility of the AMMK getting accommodated in the mega alliance, had sought to pre-empt anyone from making a bid to have Mr. Dhinakaran’s party included, he replied that it was for the AIADMK’s leader to give his response.

During the 2021 Assembly election, New Delhi-based “well wishers” of Tamil Nadu and their allies had tried to have the AMMK in a front that took on the DMK. “I had suggested 40-50 candidates. But the efforts did not fructify,” he recalled, without divulging the details of the “well wishers”.

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