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All you need to know about T.T.V Dinakaran

T.T.V Dinakaran, the nephew of V.K. Sasikala, is a politician of Tamil Nadu.

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The Dinakaran and OPS factions were fighting for the two leaf symbol of AIADMK. Wikimedia commons
The Dinakaran and OPS factions were fighting for the two leaf symbol of AIADMK. Wikimedia commons
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About a year ago, the state of Tamil Nadu lost its ‘Amma’. Since then, the state has witnessed political chaos with three Chief Ministers and an ‘almost demise’ of AIADMK. DMK and BJP were seen to be taking a clear advantage of the situation. Having Sasikala in jail and Dinakaran battling with central agencies, many say BJP has played its cards well.

T.T.V Dinakaran, the nephew of V.K. Sasikala, is a politician of Tamil Nadu. He is facing a case with ED probing deposits money into his accounts between 1991 and 1995. He has also served as a member of Lok Sabha, as well as Rajya Sabha.

The world heard Sasikala's voice for the first time after Amma's death. Wikimedia commons
The world heard Sasikala’s voice for the first time after Amma’s death. Wikimedia Commons

Who is V.K. Sasikala?

J Jayalalithaa used to call Sasikala her ‘soul sister’. Other than two occasions when Jayalalithaa cut her ties with Sasikala, the later was known as someone ‘Amma’ couldn’t do without. V.K. Sasikala was like a shadow of Jayalalithaa but not much was known about her.

However, everything changed on 5th December 2016 when Jayalalithaa died. Within 12 hours, Sasikala appointed O Panneerselvam as acting Chief Minister. She took over as general secretary of AIADMK when the general council unanimously passed a resolution. It was the first time when Sasikala came into light. The world heard her voice for the first time.

She allegedly forced OPS to resign in an ambition to become Chief Minister herself. But when OPS made revelations to the media about Sasikala, the politics of Tamil Nadu went into chaos. What followed was her conviction in a Disappropriate Assets case, she was sentenced to 4 years in jail.

Dinakaran fell out of favour after Central Agencies came in. Wikimedia commons
Dinakaran fell out of favour after Central Agencies came in. Wikimedia Commons

Dinakaran comes in

Dinakaran had moved to Poes Garden along with his aunt Sasikala following Jayalalithaa’s death. He was appointed deputy general secretary hours before Sasikala surrendered. Five years ago, he was expelled by Jayalalithaa after reports of him interfering in the party and government functioning came in.

He was then reportedly lobbying with the rebel members of OPS came to join back the parent party. It wasn’t long after when he was contesting the RK Nagal bypoll (vacated by Jayalalithaa) as an AIADMK candidate. He had a staunch victory. However, his cards didn’t go well when the Income Tax department stepped in.

Several of his loyalists were raided and the election stood cancelled. The Delhi Police had lodged an FIR, after a few days, accusing him of bribing the EC for the party’s symbol. Shortly, he faced an arrest in Delhi.

Delhi Police changed the game for BJP. Wikimedia commons
Delhi Police changed the game for BJP. Wikimedia Commons

Things go wrong for Dinakaran

Sasikala in jail, Dinakaran facing Delhi Police, and several document incriminating ministers. This situation had led their faction to the knowledge that their ‘tracks stand exposed’ and hence, they sought protection. In these circumstances, OPS was another name of protection. Since he was the one with Delhi behind his back. Everyone knows Delhi backed OPS despite the objection of Tamil Nadu BJP unit.

With the tables turning, the same people who had ditched OPS in favour of Dinakaran, went running back to him. They said that a single family cannot control AIADMK. They demand Sasikala and Dinakaran must quit. People who had requested Sasikala to become the General Secretary now say ‘unity’ and the Government are of prime importance.

After the AIADMK merger, BJP looks forward to set foothold in local elections. Wikimedia commons
After the AIADMK merger, BJP looks forward to setting the foothold in local elections. Wikimedia Commons

‘The plot’

  • Alleged attempts at bribing voters.
  • Allegedly engaging with a history-sheeter to pay EC official.

These were Dinakaran’s mistakes. They came up in the light of his impatience to gain power. All he didn’t know was that central agencies were waiting for them. The agencies acted once the mistakes came in. They warned his associates.

The same Dinakaran who was in complete control during the dramatic ‘vote of confidence’, has no one worthwhile to back him now. His loyalists are now saying that the real AIADMK is headed by OPS.

Game Over!

The plot was understood. There was no other option than playing along. Dinakaran agreed to abide by the party and assured he wouldn’t fight back. He even stood for the merger of OPS faction back into the party. All these points towards the fact that he is aware that his game is over. He is no more in the situation to play the game of politics, now his game is survival.

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Parliament In Sri Lanka Gets Dissolved, President Calls For Election

The U.S. State Department tweeted that it is deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena waves to supporters during a rally outside the parliamentary complex in Colombo, Sri Lanka. VOA

ri Lanka’s president dissolved Parliament and called for elections on Jan. 5 in a bid to stave off a deepening political crisis over his dismissal of the prime minister that opponents say is unconstitutional.

An official notification signed by President Maithripala Sirisena announced the dissolution of Parliament effective midnight Friday. It said the names of candidates will be called before Nov. 26 and the new Parliament is to convene Jan. 17.

Sri Lanka has been in a crisis since Oct. 26, when Sirisena fired his prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa. Both say they command a majority in Parliament and had been expected to face the 225-member house Wednesday after it was suspended for about 19 days.

Sri Lanka, parliament
Sri Lanka’s sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe holds a copy of the constitution of Sri Lanka as he attends a media briefing at his official residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka. VOA

Foreign Minister Sarath Amunugama told The Associated Press Saturday that the reason for the president to dissolve Parliament was the need to go to the people to find a resolution to the crisis.

“On the 14th there was to be a lot of commotion and unparliamentary activities sponsored by the speaker,” Amunugama said. “The speaker was not planning to act according to the constitution and standing orders of Parliament.”

Sirisena’s supporters had been irked by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s announcement that he was going to call for a vote for either party to prove their support.

Miscalculation

“The dissolution clearly indicates that Mr. Sirisena has grossly misjudged and miscalculated the support that he might or could secure to demonstrate support in the Parliament,” said Bharath Gopalaswamy, director at U.S.-based analyst group Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. “At the end of the day, he is a victim of his own homegrown crisis.”

Sri Lanka, parliament
Sri Lankan civil rights activists hold placards during a demonstration outside the official residence of ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo, Sri Lanka. VOA

Wickremesinghe has insisted his firing is unconstitutional. He has refused to vacate his official residence and demanded that Parliament be summoned immediately to prove he had support among its members.

Tensions had been building between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for some time, as the president did not approve of economic reforms introduced by the prime minister. Sirisena has also accused Wickremesinghe and another Cabinet member of plotting to assassinate him, a charge Wickremesinghe repeatedly denied.

Sirisena was critical of investigations into military personnel accused of human rights violations during Sri Lanka’s long civil war against a Tamil separatist group, which ended in 2009. Rajapaksa, who ruled as president from 2005 to 2015, is credited as a hero by the ethnic Sinhalese majority for winning the conflict. But he lost a re-election bid in 2015 amid accusations of nepotism, corruption and wartime atrocities.

Constitutional question

Wickremesinghe’s camp is likely to contest Sirisena’s move because of constitutional provisions stating a Parliament can’t be dissolved until 4 ½ years after its election. The current Parliament was elected in August 2015.

sri lanka, parliament
Sri Lankan former President Mahinda Rajapakse addresses journalists at his residence in Colombo, Sept. 22, 2018. Rajapakse has been appointed the Sri Lanka’s new prime minister. VOA

“It’s totally unconstitutional,” said Harsha de Silva, a member of Wickremesinghe’s United National Party and a former minister. “Sirisena has relegated the constitution to toilet paper. We will fight this dictator to the end.”

The party said in a Twitter message that it will meet the elections commissioner to discuss the constitutionality of Sirisena’s move.

US urges caution

The U.S. State Department tweeted that it is deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved, “further deepening the political crisis.”

Also Read: Once a Hostage, Sri Lankan Sailor Now Helps Battle Somali Pirates

“As a committed partner of Sri Lanka, we believe democratic institutions and processes need to be respected to ensure stability and prosperity,” the statement said.

Earlier, U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and two other lawmakers wrote to Sirisena warning that actions circumventing the democratic process could impact U.S. assistance, including a planned five-year aid package from the Millennium Challenge Corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars. (VOA)