The AIADMK being controlled by one family will be in sharp contrast to the way the party was run when Jayalalithaa was alive.
Chennai: By bringing in TTV Dinakaran, who was banished from the party by late J Jayalalithaa in 2011 and was never entertained again at the Poes Gardens, as the Deputy General Secretary, the message from the family of VK Sasikala is loud and clear — the AIADMK will be run by their clan and they would be calling the shots.
The AIADMK being controlled by one family will be in sharp contrast to the way the party was run when Jayalalithaa was alive. She ensured, at least on the face of it, that no one close to her came anywhere near any top positions in the party and the government.
Now, with Dinakaran, a former Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha member, at the helm, the 'Mannargudi family', will directly control the AIADMK with “able guidance” from Sasikala, who has surrendered before a Bengaluru court and lodged in prison. And again, the secrecy and the haste in which Dinakaran was re-inducted into the party and given the plum position - next only to the all-powerful general secretary - raises not just pertinent questions but also gives a sneak peek into what's in store in the coming days, political analysts say.
The latest appointment of Dinakaran has come at a time when it looked like that with Sasikala out of the picture her faction would have staked a claim in competition with the OPS faction to the late Jayalalithaa's legacy, MGR's biographer Kannan said, adding that this move certainly dents those prospects.
Concurring with Kannan, Dr Gladston Xavier, head of the department of social work, Loyola College, Chennai, said that the “Mannargudi family” needs a political establishment to keep its control over a range of its political, social and economic interests. “And to maintain a political establishment, they need mass and now everyone knows who is in control of the AIADMK and the locus of the control is the family,” Mr Xavier said.
“No doubt that the family wants control of the party and it is moving in that direction. And it is the family, which needs control of the party and not the other way around. The party will survive on leadership, but the real cause for concern is all charismatic personalities are missing,” he said.
Political analysts also point to the allegations by caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam who explained in detail how the family was instrumental in Sasikala's appointment as AIADMK general secretary and how he was “humiliated” by his own cabinet colleagues after having been egged at to do so by family members.
However, writer and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Ravikumar says the “Mannargudi family”, from the backdrop, had always controlled the AIADMK even when Jayalalithaa was alive. “There is no democracy in any party and it is no surprise there is no opposition to Mr Dinakaran. Families have always ruled political parties and the Election Commission does nothing to question such moves,” Mr Ravikumar said.
Violation of Jaya wish
MGR's biographer R Kannan says the "brazenness" with which Dinakaran's appointment as deputy general secretary of AIADMK has been made is in complete violation of the late Jayalalithaa's wish. "It is amazing to see how people never learn from their mistakes and this particular move shows how her (Sasikala's) hunger and thirst for power has completely blinded her. This move will serve no good for the Sasikala faction of the AIADMK," Kannan told Deccan Chronicle.