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Dhinakaran remains loyal to Amma, not her party

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The former AIADMK leader who launched his new party Thursday rose to prominence within a short period of time. His party flag bears a Jayalalithaa image.

New Delhi: T.T.V. Dhinakaran, the leader of an AIADMK faction, launched his own party, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai Thursday. He unveiled the party flag that has black, white and red stripes with an image of late CM Jayalalithaa at the centre.

Who is T.T.V. Dhinakaran?

TTV is the nephew of Sasikala Natarajan, a close aide of the late chief minister Jayalalithaa. Sasikala is currently lodged in Parappana Agrahara Jail in Bengaluru after her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.

Entry into politics

When AIADMK founder and former CM M.G. Ramachandran passed away in 1987, Dhinakaran joined the party to assist Jayalalithaa. He became deeply involved in the party affairs after Jayalalithaa reigned as chief minister in 1991.

In 1996, Jayalalithaa lost in the elections and Dhinakaran was accused of violating Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. The case dragged on for many years until the Madras High Court found him guilty of money laundering and benami transactions in 2017.

In 1999, Dhinakaran contested and won in parliamentary elections from Theni constituency. In the same period, he also served as AIADMK treasurer. In the following elections in 2004, he lost to the Congress candidate in the same constituency. Still, Jayalalithaa was not ready to let go of Dhinakaran and made him Rajya Sabha MP the same year.

Two years later, Jayalalithaa expelled him from the party for interfering in the government’s functioning. He stayed in Puducherry until Jayalalithaa fell ill and was subsequently admitted to hospital. He was also reportedly seen with Sasikala in Jayalalithaa’s funeral.

Post-Amma days

Once Jayalalithaa passed away, Dhinakaran played a very important role in making his aunt Sasikala general secretary of the AIADMK. After Sasikala’s conviction, she made Dhinakaran deputy general secretary of the party.

However, senior leaders and CM Edappadi Palaniswami decided to remove Dhinakaran from the post of deputy general secretary. Eighteen MLAs sided with Dhinakaran and gathered at a seaside resort in Puducherry to show their protest against the EPS-OPS faction and their attempt to bring about a floor test in Tamil Nadu proved futile.


Dhinakaran courted controversy after the EPS-OPS faction of the AIADMK as well as other opposition parties accused him of bribing the voters in the R.K. Nagar bypolls, which he eventually won.

In another controversy, Dhinakaran allegedly bribed certain officials of the Election Commission regarding the allotment of party symbol, the two leaves. He was jailed and later released on bail in this case.

In an earlier FERA case, Dhinakaran claimed to be a Singapore citizen to escape ED probe. The Madras High found him guilty and confirmed the penalty of Rs 25 crore imposed by the ED.

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