After labelling them as betrayers, AIADMK on Saturday extended an olive branch to its 18 disqualified MLAs, asking them to jump on to the ruling party bandwagon and flayed AMMK leader T T V Dhinakaran for 'misleading' them.
Asking the debarred MLAs and other Dhinakaran loyalists who moved away from AIADMK to revert to the parent party, the top leadership asked them to "understand the reality" of the Madras High Court judgement that upheld their disqualification.
Apparently, the AIADMK indicated that the court ruling vindicated its stand and reminded them that the party was akin to an "army" when it came to discipline.
The court's fair judgement has enthused the party workers and the people of Tamil Nadu, the party said.
People were confident that the AIADMK government would continue to roll out welfare measures and "the angel of justice has paved a path for us to work together (again)," to meet the aspirations of the people, it said.
"We invite you with love and affection to join again the massive people's movement nurtured by Puratchi Thalaivar MGR and Puratchi Thalaivi Amma,"party coordinator and co-ordinator O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami respectively said.
In an open letter to cadres, the top duo, refraining from naming Mr Dhinakaran or his loyalists, including the 18 debarred MLAs, said party functionaries had chosen to travel in an "alternative path as a result of being misled and due to some bitterness."
Seeking to assuage the feathers ruffled by the legal wrangle, the Chief Minister and his deputy quoted a Tamil proverb which says love does not erode, despite quarrels or fights, adding all of them were "children of one mother, bonded by brotherhood and love."
When party workers ignored differences and worked together, AIADMK would grow manifold and vanquish its political rivals, they said.
Both the party and the power of governance were only tools to serve the people and "none of us have a thought of working for posts.Our only goal is to serve the people. Since the court ruling helps us achieve our goal, we welcome and celebrate it."
Hours ago, Mr Palaniswami, speaking to reporters at Coimbatore, had said that (without naming the disqualified MLAs) 'betrayers' and 'enemies' had been given a befitting lesson by the Madras High Court.
A key Dhinakaran loyalist and one of the disqualified MLAs, P Vetrivel, ruled out considering going back to the ruling camp. He told PTI that they would retrieve AIADMK by going to the people and facing the polls.
Mr Palaniswami on Saturday also said there was no communique from government whip S Rajendran to Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal over the three AIADMK legislators who are backing AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran.
On claims that government whip S Rajendran had written to Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on the three MLAs (over their disqualification), Mr Palaniswami said he was not aware of any such thing.
"Nothing of that sort so far," he told reporters . AIADMK MLAs A Prabhu, E A Rathinasabapathy,V T Kalaiselvan and S Karunas of Mukkulathor Pulipadi, who won the 2016 Assembly election by contesting on the ruling party's two-leaves symbol are backing Mr Dhinakaran.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, however, said the Speaker has a right to seek an explanation from the three AIADMK legislators.
"The Speaker has a right to seek an explanation. He has the authority to take an appropriate decision if he does not get an appropriate explanation," he told reporters at Tirupur.
On the reported show-cause notice sent to the three MLAs by the "AIADMK for backing him," Mr Dhinakaran said that the legislators would respond to it.