Chennai: The internal feud in the AIADMK triggered by the rebellion of legislators owing allegiance to TTV Dhinakaran against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has cost the party a couple of berths in the Union Cabinet, at least for now.
Sources in the BJP said there were plans to accommodate at least two MPs from the AIADMK into the Union Cabinet in a bid to strengthen the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) but it has been “put on hold” due to the “unfavourable” situation in the Tamil Nadu’s ruling party.
Speculation was rife for some time that Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai and Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan would be inducted into the Union Cabinet as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah were in favour of the proposal to make the AIADMK part of the NDA.
They also said the BJP top brass is upset with the AIADMK managers on the way the rebellion by Dhinakaran and his supporters has been handled though much progress was achieved in bringing the two warring factions led by Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam together.
“We did not expect that nearly 20 MLAs would side with Dhinakaran and this is not what the BJP wanted. The BJP initiated the merger only to ensure that the government remains stable and mid-term elections are avoided,” a senior leader said.
However, he also maintained that the plans to induct AIADMK members have been put off “for now” and it could happen anytime after the current political stalemate is resolved. “Efforts are being taken to ensure that the TN remains stable and once the situation is handled in the right way, there could be a possibility of AIADMK members in Union Cabinet,” the leader said.