Chennai: Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dhinakran on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the AIADMK leadership, saying the ruling party has "lost its identity" and was "stuck" due to "a few selfish people". He also affirmed his party would "retrieve" the AIADMK founded by MGR and nurtured by Amma (Jayalalithaa).
In an apparent reference to Dhinakaran, the AIADMK dubbed him an 'overnight' leader rejected by the people.
"One cannot deny the fact that the ruling party has lost its identity and ideology and got veered away from the path laid down by Amma. It is now stuck due to a few selfish persons," Dhinakaran said in a letter to party members ahead of the AIADMK founding day on October 17. Though he did not name anyone, it was clear he was targeting Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselavam.
While MGR had launched the party, Amma had built it up as a mass people's movement in Tamil Nadu. And his aunt Sasikala had stood "solidly" by Jayalalithaa during the latter's challenging political journey, TTV said, adding that post-Jaya, "hegemonic forces" had taken over the AIADMK.
"The AIADMK has lost its identity and become someone's slave", said TTV, repeating his charge that the post-Jaya AIADMK had become 'subservient' to the BJP Government at the Centre. He pledged his AMMK would "retrieve Amma's party and restore it to its old glory and pride".
While 90 percent of AIADMK workers were supporting AMMK, the rest of them in the ruling party were there "only for selfish motives." "AMMK has been the true AIADMK. In the coming days, it will retrieve AIADMK," he added.
He also claimed that his victory in the RK Nagar bypoll in December 2017 was proof of people's sentiments as the voters elected him as Jayalalithaa's successor.
Hitting back, Palaniswami and OPS said those who had popped up as "overnight leaders" were already rejected by the people. "Those not aware of Puratchi Thalaivar's political journey and showing no respect for Puratchi Thalaivi's sacrifices, those building castles in the air about coming to power after having emerged as overnight leaders, those who tried to shake our organisation, have been dumped and rejected by the people," the two leaders said in a letter to party members.
They said those who had "underestimated" the AIADMK and its supporters were now scared of it. They also recalled Jayalalithaa's assertion that the AIADMK "is a people's movement that will strive for generations of Tamils".