Chennai: With the massive 40,000-vote victory over Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK in Chennai's RK Nagar, the TTV Dhinakaran camp is expecting a reversal of its fortune.
As the results were announced on Sunday, CR Saraswati, a Jayalalithaa loyalist who has since transferred her allegiance to the Dhinakaran camp, said a parliamentarian of the united AIADMK has already met the party's sidelined number 2, who had to contest as an Independent.
The lawmaker, B Senguttava, who represents Vellore constituency sources say, met Dhinakaran today. It's not clear yet if it was a courtesy call or indication of a possible switching enmasse. NDTV could not contact him for his comments.
Ms Saraswathi, who is the spokesperson, of the Dhinakaran camp, said "All MLAs will come to Dinakaran's side". Asked if it was a vote for Ms Sasikala or Ms Dhinakaran, she said "It was for both".
In less than a year, the fortune of Mr Dhinakaran, the nephew of Jayalalithaa's longtime companion VK Sasikala, has been on a roller-coaster ride.
After the death of the former Chief Minister in December 2016, Ms Sasikala took charge of the party. Her nephew became her second, a position that was strengthened after she was jailed on corruption charges.
But over the next few months, he was arrested for alleged bribery and then evicted from the party by Chief Minister E Palaniswami as part of the merger deal with the rebel faction led by O Panneerselvam.
The aunt and nephew have challenged the decision. Mr Dhinakaran hit back through the 21 legislators who were still loyal to him and Ms Sasikala. Through them, he launched a bid to unseat Mr Palaniswami, which, however, fell through. The Speaker disqualified 18 legislators supporting him for writing to the Governor seeking the replacement of Chief Minister EPS.
His appeals to the Governor for a trust vote were disregarded and the number of his supporters slowly dwindled.
Last month, the Election Commission even turned down his appeal for the AIADMK's "two leaf" symbol, saying the merged AIADMK deserved it as they were the real AIADMK.
After the trends today firmly established his lead, Mr Dhinakaran told reporters that they were the "true AIADMK" and the people of RK Nagar have elected "Amma's successor" and "E Palaniswami's government will fall in three months".