December 15 2019
No difference of opinion on re-admitting disqualified MLAs: D. Jayakumar
18 June 2018

AIADMK will accept anyone who have accepted Puratchi Thalaivar and Amma, but not Sasikala and her family, says Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar

With the Madras High Court delivering a split verdict in the case of disqualification of 18 ruling AIADMK MLAs, who are with the T.T.V. Dhinakaran camp, Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar, widely regarded as the government spokesperson, has hinted that the ruling party is open to extending an olive branch to them. In an interview on Sunday, he said true members of the AIADMK would return. Excerpts:

Have you initiated steps to bring the 18 disqualified MLAs back to the party?

The AIADMK is a massive party, which has grown so, thanks to the leadership of Puratchi Thalaivar (founder M.G. Ramachandran) and Amma (former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa). The present government is in power because of Amma. Normally, those who have accepted Puratchi Thalaivar and Amma as their leaders will not join any other party. There is no difference of opinion among us on admitting them (18 disqualified MLAs). The party will take a call if they want to come back. But, we are clear that we will not admit [V.K.] Sasikala, [T.T.V.] Dhinakaran, [V.] Dhivakaran and their family members under any circumstances.

Would you make any offer to the former legislators for their return? Do you have expectations from them as they have been with the rival camp for the last 10 months?

Politics cannot be run like business contracts, which are characterised by offer and acceptance. The whole matter concerns a political party. True members of the party are those who do not want their organisation to face any crisis and who would defend their party. Those having such an opinion will certainly come back to the party. Even after the death of Puratchi Thalaivar and Amma, there was no exodus from the party to other parties such as the DMK.

Is the AIADMK holding negotiations with the disqualified legislators?

The matter [regarding disqualification of the MLAs] is sub judice. It will now go to the third judge. Once the judgment is out, the party will decide on further course of action.

Are you hopeful of their return?

Those who are genuinely interested in the welfare of the party and sincere in their devotion to Puratchi Thalaivar and Amma would and should return to the party.

Moving on, is it not unusual for the Assembly [which is now in recess] to have a long break during its session on demands for grants?

The break is based on the discretion of the Speaker and the decision taken at a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee, where everyone was present. There are enough precedents of the House having got adjourned for five days or a week or 10 days.

Is it necessary to continue with the practice of the Chief Minister making statements under Rule 110? Is he doing so because the ruling party wants to avoid discussions?

It is a wrong notion that we want to avoid discussions. When Amma was Chief Minister, she used to make similar statements. Ours is a government that follows Amma’s path. Chief Minister [Edappadi K. Palaniswami] also wants to make statements just as Amma did. What is wrong with that? Ultimately, what matters is the benefits that people would get out of such statements. Take the case of my department – Fisheries. When the Chief Minister makes a statement announcing welfare measures for fishermen, is it not a welcome feature?



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