Debating India


And Amma’s own Stalin

Tuesday 25 April 2006, by MENON*Jaya

AUNDIPATTY, APRIL 24 : If M K Stalin (58) is the rising son in the DMK, then the AIADMK has its own scion, quietly winning hearts in the land of MGR. He may not have the good looks or political credentials of DMK’s heir apparent, but the dark and stout T T V Dinakaran (42), AIADMK’s Rajya Sabha member, is becoming a force to reckon with in the southern belt, dominated by the Thevars and still under the sway of the late matinee idol, M G Ramachandran.

There are many who like to believe he is MGR’s heir. The DMK has something to worry about. Even its hardened loyalists are all praise for Amma’s ?chella pillai (favourite child)’ as villagers call him.

Dinakaran is the brother of V N Sudhakaran, Jayalalithaa’s adopted son, now disowned by her.

Today, Dinakaran is her lieutenant, entrusted with the brief to nurture the southern belt, still crazy about MGR. He is also the nephew of Sasikala Natarajan, Amma’s close friend.

In fact, Andipatti constituency first shot into the limelight when MGR contested from here in 1984. In the run-up to the election, he had not visited the constituency even once as he was recuperating in a hospital in the US. But he won with a resounding majority. Even his protege, Jayalalithaa, won the last election here by a hefty margin of over 32,000 votes.

In the heart of Andipatti lies Myladumparai, about 20 km away. Ana Muthiah owns a teashop. He wears his loyalty to DMK on his sleeve. He has the tattoo of the rising sun symbol of the DMK on his right forearm and has been a member of the party for the last 20 years. A poster of a young Karunanidhi with Annadurai is prominently displayed. Ask him whom he will vote for this time and he replies: ??I will vote for whosoever does good for us. And, it is definitely Dinakaran (read AIADMK) in these parts.’’

Villagers of Mottanoothu, Kadamalai, Ramakrishnapuram, Myladumparai, Kayampatti, Varasanadu, and many more in Aundipatty, Theni and Periyakulam are all praise for Dinakaran. ??He has utilised all the MPLAD funds for these villages. If Amma had a desire to revamp her constituency, then it was Dinakaran who fulfilled it.’’ If Amma waved the magic wand, then at the ground it was Dinakaran who quietly implemented the development schemes which has given the constituency that sparkle.

V. Radhakrishnan, a DMK member of 15 years, is perched on a balcony to wait for ?Kalignar’ (as DMK president, M Karunanidhi is called by partymen). The DMK chief was to arrive in the main Aundipatty town square to campaign for his candidate A Seeman. ??I have propagated the DMK ideologies very intensely and protected it well. But I am very impressed by the manner in which Dinakaran works for people here. I am thinking of joining him,’’ says Radhakrishnan.

Dinakaran entered politics in 1999, contesting the Lok Sabha election on an AIADMK ticket in Periyakulam constituency and winning it with a convincing majority. He lost in the 2004 election in which the AIADMK suffered a debacle. He is a co-accused along with Jayalalithaa in a disproportionate assets case.

See online : The Indian Express

SPIP | template | | Site Map | Follow-up of the site's activity RSS 2.0