'They are going to be clubbed with the Lok Sabha elections which are six months away.'
'These people who are ruling Tamil Nadu know very well that they cannot win another election.'
R Sundararaj was elected from Ottapidaram on an All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam ticket in the 2016 Tamil Nadu assembly election.
After then chief minister J Jayalalithaa died in office in December that year and her successor O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami fought it out, Sundararaj, like other AIADMK legislators, was confused as to what to do.
And in an unusual twist when OPS and EPS came together to join a united government, with the latter now playing deputy CM, he was upset, and felt neither was good enough to carry forward Jayalalithaa's legacy and so threw in his lot with the latter's companion Sasikala Natarajan and her nephew T T V Dhinakaran, along with 17 other MLAs.
In September 2017, when the rebel faction submitted a letter to the governor withdrawing support to the EPS government, the assembly speaker disqualified them under the anti-defection law, against which decision they promptly went in appeal in the Madras high court.
After legal twists and turns the court upheld the speaker's decision on Thursday, October 25, following which Dhinakaran, who went on to form the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, and his band of legislators have decided to appeal this verdict in the Supreme Court.
Soon after the decision to appeal was taken, Sundararaj spoke to Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar about why the rebels are determined to fight it out.
"I am a true follower of Amma. I did not come into the party as an MLA. I served the people and was rewarded for my work. The idea of going to the Supreme Court is to prove that the speaker was wrong.
He was wrong as he did not take action against OPS and his 11 MLAs who voted against the government during the trust vote (in February 2017).
We won the RK Nagar by-elections (in December 2017) and we will win if elections are held again. But elections will not be held immediately. They are going to be clubbed with the Lok Sabha elections which are six months away.
Instead of being idle for six months we decided to appeal in the Supreme Court, maybe we will get a favourable judgment. If not and the elections are held earlier, we will withdraw our petition and fight the elections.
You see the crowds flocking to TTV's meetings, you will know he has inherited Amma's legacy. These people who are ruling Tamil Nadu know very well that they cannot win another election.
They don't care for the people or for anyone else. A politician should be respected by the people, for the work he does. These people are not respected by anybody.
We want to serve the people. We want to retrieve Amma and MGR's symbol from these people. We want to rescue the party from these people.
TTV will definitely succeed in this endeavour and we are all with him. We don't want to join hands with either EPS or OPS.
We will win in the end, either through the court or by the will of the people.
In a democracy people are god and we will win their confidence."