AMMK to register as party, Dhinakaran to be general secretary

TTV Dhinakaran in Chennai (File/PTI Photo)

TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) has decided to get registered as a political party. The group had been denied a common symbol ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and 18 Assembly bypolls as it lacked recognised status.

The AMMK took the decision ahead of four more Assembly bypolls to be held soon. AMMK spokeperson Elantamil Arvalantold The Indian Express that the procedure for the new party has been started as they had faced hurdles in getting a common symbol for the last elections. "Dhinakaran will be the general secretary of the party. Recognition has become crucial to face more polls," he said.

When asked about the role of V K Sasikala, the ousted AIADMK general secretary and Dhinakaran's aunt, in a registered party structure, Arvalan said Sasikala will not be in AMMK as she is already fighting a case against her ouster from AIADMK. "She will continue her fight against the illegal ouster of her from the party general secretary post," he said.

Sources said the decision to register AMMK as a party was taken by Dhinakaran. "Sasikala will continue her fight against the current AIADMK leadership appointment and their authority will continue. But a non-recognised status will make it difficult for the party in the upcoming polls," said a senior leader.

The leader said that the move was made considering the fact that four more Assembly bypolls are to be held, and state Assembly elections may be conducted soon if the Edappadi K Palaniswami government fails to prove its majority.

Last March, when Dhinakaran moved the Supreme Court claiming the 'pressure cooker' symbol for his candidates after the Election Commission of India (ECI) refused to allot it, the court ordered that his party had no exclusive access to the 'pressure cooker' symbol as it had no recognised status. The SC ordered the ECI to allot any one common and free symbol to the group's candidates, after which AMMK got the 'gift box' symbol. The group fought the Lok Sabha polls and bypolls to 18 Assembly seats on this symbol.

Agreeing with the ECI, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said that AMMK considered itself heir to AIADMK. "They missed the bus. But they are still a group. Reality is, however strong a man, he is known by the symbol. Giving different symbols to his candidates will ruin his career," Justice Gogoi said.