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'We are staying with Chinnamma'

September 19, 2017 13:00 IST

A day after the Tamil Nadu assembly speaker disqualified 18 MLAs from the AIADMK's V K Sasikala-T T V Dinakaran faction, Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar spoke to a couple of MLAs.

IMAGE: AIADMK MLAs from the T T V Dinakaran group at the memorial for the late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa at Marina beach, Chennai, on the night of August 21, 2017. Photograph: PTI Photo

The 18 All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam legislators who were disqualified by Tamil Nadu assembly Speaker P Dhanapal for anti-party activities on Monday, September 18, still have their phone numbers listed on the state government Web site, but it may not be for long.

 

Maanamadurai MLA Mariappan Kennady sounded agitated when he called this correspondent.

"We were at the Koovathur resort when we heard that Chinnamma (Jayalalithaa's aide, former AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala) was going to be arrested," Kennady said.

"She could have chosen anyone as her successor, but she chose Edappadi K Palaniswami, she said he was my brother, he will protect and take forward Amma's government," the MLA added.

"But is this the way? They have broken her trust and gone against her. We are loyal to Amma and to Chinnamma and that is why we are with (Sasikala's nephew) T T V Dinakaran. Gratitude and trust are the reason we are here," Kennady declared.

"The speaker spoke to (former chief minister) O Panneerselvam after the trust vote (on February 19, 2017). He said, 'I am the speaker selected by Amma, you are members of Amma's party. How can you vote against me? You have caused me great pain'."

"Today OPS is the deputy chief minister and we have been thrown out. Is this justice? We have approached the high court and we will fight for justice."

Gudiyattam MLA C Jayanthi Padmanabhan was equally passionate.

"Two months back at a public meeting I handed over my resignation letter to the chief minister. I told him this was not Amma's government and I wanted no part in it," Padmanabhan said.

"He (E K Palaniswami) said we will talk about it and told me not to quit."

"When Amma was alive she protected the Tamil people from the central government. She would have refused all the schemes which these puppets are accepting."

"Amma would never have allowed NEET (the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test). She would never have allowed GST. She would have said 'no' firmly, not these people who prostrate themselves before the central government to protect their seats," Padmanabhan alleged.

"These 30 ministers have only their own interests at heart. If you see the implementation of any scheme it will be by their agents who do it only on caste constituencies. When Amma was there, there was no caste division in Tamil Nadu," the MLA added.

"After her all the caste configurations have come out into the open. In the last seven months they have not implemented even one of Amma's schemes. They are there only to protect their own interests and not the people of Tamil Nadu," Padmanabhan said.

"If they want to celebrate MGR's 100th anniversary they should have spent our party funds and celebrated it with the cadres. They are misusing government funds to celebrate a party function. All their favourites are there in these functions and they get all the funds," Padmanabhan alleged.

"Chinnamma was with Amma for 34 years. Amma was very intelligent. If she thought Chinnnamma was bad for her she would have thrown her out," Padmanabhan said.

"She kept her with her because she knew she was good. Chinnamma is 62 years old. She doesn't have any personal ambitions in life."

"All she wanted to do is save the party that Amma had protected all her life, and this is what you do to her?" the MLA asked.

"We are here to protect the people of Tamil Nadu. We are here to serve the people of Tamil Nadu. These 30 ministers are part of the government that Chinnamma chose. She is the one who made EPS the chief minister."

"If they are really so sure of public support, let them resign and seek the popular mandate of the people. Only then will they be a legitimate government."

"They are ungrateful ministers who are biting the hand that fed them. We are grateful to Chinnamma and we are staying with her."

A Ganesh Nadar / Rediff.com in Chennai