Chennai: The embattled TTV Dhinakaran camp, still smarting over desertions and poll drubbings, could lose yet another prominent 'wicket' in the coming days as strongman V Pugazhendi is said to be contemplating quitting due to differences with the leadership.
Former minister Senthil Balaji, ex-MLAs Thanga Tamilselvan and Kalairajan, besides several district functionaries had quit the TTV party, the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, over the last few months. Only former legislator Vetrivel of Perambur now remains as the loyal lieutenant for TTV, who has been facing hurtful jabs from the AIADMK ministers, particularly D Jayakumar, telling him his political innings has almost ended.
The AIADMK leadership has been exhorting the TTV campers to leave him so that they could gain re-admission to the parent party, the AIADMK “of Puratchi Thalaivar MGR and Puratchi Thalaivi Amma”. “We will take back into our fold anyone from the AMMK, except Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran”, has been the refrain from the various AIADMK seniors.
Against such a backdrop comes the fresh jolt now as Pugazhendi, the Karnataka state organiser for the AMMK, has dropped enough hints to indicate he's packing bags to leave TTV and cross over to the AIADMK - unlike Senthil Balaji, Thanga Tamilselvan and Kalairajan, he is unlikely to go to the DMK for fear of being slighted and sidelined, informed sources said.
The speculation about Pugazhendi leaving TTV got stronger when a video showing him telling some supporters, who had gone to him a couple of days ago to complain that they were not being treated well in the (AMMK) party, that they should exercise patience and make their choice rightly so as to ensure they are received well in the new place. Worse still, he declared pompously it was he who had brought TTV back from his 14-year wilderness, yet he was not being treated well. “TTV is losing people now, one after another. There's no use remaining in this (AMMK) party”, he had declared.
That outburst, made in his hotel room at Coimbatore, went viral when someone present there shot it on a mobile phone and uploaded it on social media. “I had spoken like that only to comfort my supporters, but the AMMK IT-wing had played mischief by posting it on social media after editing, so as to give an impression that I am leaving the party to join another. I have no plans to quit the (AMMK) party. On the other hand, if I am forced out, only the AMMK will be the loser”, he said, adding that he was confident that “everything will become all right the moment Chinnamma (Sasikala) comes out (of Parappana Agrahara jail)”.
When media persons asked TTV to comment on these developments, he smiled wryly and replied, “I have seen the video only on the social media. We will soon take appropriate action after enquiry”, he said.