AIADMK rival leader T T V Dhinakaran on Friday launched his 'people reach out tour,' seeking their support to usher in 'Amma's (Jayalalithaa's) government,' and oust the K Palaniswami regime in Tamil Nadu.
In a co-incidence, the ruling AIADMK held a meeting of its office-bearers and district secretaries with its co-ordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and co-coordinator and Chief Minister Palaniswami chairing the discussions at the party headquarters in Chennai.
A party release said the meet deliberated on "party development tasks," and enrolling new members besides the upcoming birth anniversary of late party chief J Jayalalithaa on February 24.
In a scathing attack on Palaniswami regime, Dhinakaran, who won the RK Nagar bypoll in December last as an independent, alleged that the Palaniswami regime was bowing to the Centre out of fear and had given its nod to schemes opposed by Jayalalithaa.
The rival leader launched his "Makkal Sandhippu Puratchi Payanam," (Revolutionary people reach out tour) at Cholapuram about 15 km from here in Thanjavur district which is part of the Cauvery delta region.
Addressing the people from an open-top van, he said the Palaniswami government was not Amma's regime.
Key issues in the delta region like the hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal were not addressed by the government despite the long drawn out protests by the people against such initiatives, he alleged.
Praising Jayalalithaa as a strong leader who fought for the rights of the state and farmers of the Cauvery Delta region, he said she ensured water for ryots by approaching the Supreme Court on the Cauvery issue.
However, he claimed farmers were now not able to engage in farming activities due to non-availability of water and faulted the Palaniswami regime for it.
He accused the State government of not taking steps to address the irrigation water needs of the farmers of the Delta region to save the standing crops.
Dubbing the AIADMK regime as a "betrayal regime," he said it was only keen on retaining power and guarding its MLAs.
"Please support us to end the betrayal regime. Election to the State Assembly may be called anytime."
Claiming that "this regime will come to an end in a few months," he sought the people's support to him to usher in "Amma's regime" and with that goal in mind, he said he has launched his tour.
Dhinakaran, who is a native of Thanjavur district, was accorded a rousing welcome by his supporters.
He toured several small towns including Thiruppanandhal that falls under the Thiruvidaimarudhur Assembly Constituency, a primarily agrarian belt, on the first of his tour.
AIADMK party meet led by the top two leaders of the ruling regime was attended by State Ministers, district secretaries, and top office-bearers besides MLAs.
Party sources said the discussion on party's growth agenda vis-a-vis current political scenario as usual.
The meet's focus on party's growth assumes significance in the wake of rival Dhinakaran's reach out tour.
It also comes against the background of expulsions of a slew of office-bearers by the mainstream AIADMK for alleged anti-party activities.