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TTV Dhinakaran’s new political party will be yet another jolt for TN’s ruling-AIADMK govt

It is to be seen if TTV Dhinakaran can replicate his RK Nagar victory elsewhere in Tamil Nadu, and if he does, he will emerge as an important force in the state — and that’s bad news for the AIADMK

All roads on Tamil Nadu’s political map lead to Madurai, the temple city seen by many as the cultural and political capital of the state. At 9 am on Thursday, March 15, RK Nagar MLA and rebel AIADMK leader, TTV Dhinakaran, will launch a new political party, and unveil the party name and symbol. Mr Dhinakaran, a former deputy general secretary of the AIADMK, said in a statement that the aim of his party would be to “retrieve the AIADMK from the clutches of traitors”.

Following the death of former chief minister, J Jayalalithaa, on December 5, 2016, VK Sasikala was elected general secretary, and Mr Dhinakaran, her nephew, was made her deputy. However, the AIADMK split following a revolt by former chief minister and AIADMK leader, O Panneerselvam. Both Sasikala and her nephew were expelled from the party after the OPS and Edappadi Palaniswami factions of the AIADMK merged. The December 21 bypoll to the RK Nagar assembly seat, left vacant after Jayalalithaa’s death, came to be perceived as the fight over Jaya’s legacy and the AIADMK’s future. Mr Dhinakaran won this battle, amid reports of widespread voter-bribing.

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