MANNARGUDI: A new political party ‘Anna Dravidar Kazhagam (ADK)’ was launched here on Sunday by T T V Dhinakaran’s maternal uncle, Divaharan, the young brother of Ms V K Sasikala, confidante of late J Jayalalithaa.
Divaharan introduced the ADK’s tri-coloured flag with red band on top, white at the bottom and black stripe on the side with a star in the middle of the flag, at a brief function at Mannargudi near Tiruvarur.
Mr. Divaharan told newsmen that the party’s policy is to fight money power in elections, to give more chances for youth in contesting elections and to make party-men feel that they are at once “Tamils, Dravidians and Indians”. This apart, the party would give priority to water storage, protection of the environment and work for gender parity. He ruled out the possibility of his party merging with the parent party, AIADMK, at least for now.
He said in the last few years, agriculture operations in the delta region was severely affected and urged the State government to take suitable action to help utilise locally available water resources.
When a reporter sought his views on Dhinakaran’s remark that family relationships and party were different, Divaharan said if that was true, the latter would not have arisen to this level (as leader of AMMK).
Divaharan also came down heavily on the film actor Makkal Neethi Maiyam founder Kamal Hassan, saying the actor did not know anything about the Cauvery issue. Meanwhile, supporters of ADK including its state spokesman Allur Srinivasan hoisted the new party’s flag at Tiruchy. Divaharan further said the party’s name was decided after much deliberation. “Dravidar Kazhagam was founded by the great Periyar and Anna symbolises the Dravidian lineage represented by MGR and Jayalalithaa”, he said. As for the ‘star’ in the centre of the flag, he said it “is our party’s pole star, namely MGR and Jayalalithaa”.
Reacting to his uncle launching a party, TTV Dhinakaran told reporters that the new outfit would not pose any threat to his ‘Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam’ (AMMK), which is headed by his jailed aunt V K Sasikala, the elder sister of Divaharan.
State ministers Sellur Raju and CV Shanmugam too dismissed Divaharan’s political launch as an insignificant development. “Let anybody launch a party; it does not affect us (AIADMK)”, Raju told reporters.
Political observers say that Divaharan’s action only reiterated the bitter divisions within Sasikala’s family over the property issues following Jayalalithaa’s death. The ADK, as of now, is just a small group of disgruntled elements in native Mannargudi/ Thanjavur region and would make no great impact on TTV’s AMMK, leave alone the ruling AIADMK, they say, adding that it is also possible that Divaharan was acting at the behest of “some AIADMK heavyweight to unsettle TTV”.