Chennai: As AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran silences the voices against him within Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami group with an open warning, BJP’s calculations for Presidential polls can go awry if it relies on the Chief Minister who is not in a position to ensure the support of all his party MLAs.
A day after the warning of Dhinakaran’s supporters that action would be taken against finance minister D. Jayakumar, he has fallen silent and there is no denial to media reports that the Chief Minister himself had directed his colleagues not to speak anything against the party deputy general secretary.
The upper hand, gained by Dhinakaran is certain to cast a shadow on the Presidential elections since he would be in a position to give directions to all the MLAs in his capacity as the party’s deputy leader.
The BJP has 5,27,371 electoral college votes at the moment and it needs about 22,000 votes to reach the winning margin of 5,49,474 votes. The calculation for the BJP could be easier if the support base of Dhinakaran is confined to 32 MLAs and two MPs.
But, there is much more than what meets the eye since none of the legislators from the delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruchy, Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur had expressed their support to Dhinakaran. The delta districts are considered the bastion of the AIADMK (Amma) general secretary V.K. Sasikala’s family and political analysts feel that other family members like Dhivakaran control more MLAs and MPs than those with Dhinakaran.
Political commentator Govi Lenin said “Palaniswami could have the backing of few MLAs from the Kongu region and it will surely be less than what Dhinakaran commands. We should not forget that it was Sasikala and her family members who allocated seats to party men during the Assembly elections. Every MLA has moved through one of the family members and a large number of legislators are with them. Sasikala’ s family members would decide whom to support in the Presidential elections”.
Though the Congress had not opened its channels with the AIADMK, it could do so anytime, given the proximity of TNCC president S. Thirunavukkarasar to the AIADMK leaders, especially Sasikala’s family. The move is unlikely to be opposed by the DMK, which would always welcome a split in the AIADMK votes as it could impact the stability of the state government.
Sasikala’s family, which is at the receiving end of centre’s action could think of voting against the BJP too, but they would seek an assurance for their protection from a possible backlash from the party which controls the Union government.
The splitting of votes in such an election is unlikely to trigger the state government’s fall and loss of MLA posts. Besides, the violation of party direction is also unlikely to have an impact since it could not expel its legislators at the present circumstances.
Value of votes 7,048
Other MLAs of AIADMK (Amma) including Dhivakaran supporters
Value of votes 40,796
Number of MLAs 12
Number of MPs 12
Total value 10,608
Number of MLAs 98
Number of MPs 4
Total value 20,080