Tamil Nadu's key Opposition party DMK suspended KK Selvam from all party posts today. The decision comes a day after he met BJP chief JP Nadda in Delhi triggering speculation of him switching sides.
Though Mr Selvam, MLA from the Thousand Lights constituency in Chennai, had denied reports of him shaking hands with BJP, sources in the DMK said Mr Selvam was upset over not being made the party District Secretary after the death of MLA Palakadai Anbazhagan due to COVID-19.
"I met Mr Nadda to request him to expedite work on two railway lifts at the Nungambakkam railway station. The meeting was facilitated by my friend Murugan, the BJP state president," Mr Selvam, who was in the AIADMK earlier and switched camps in the late nineties, told NDTV.
However, sources in the BJP, which has no representation in the Tamil Nadu assembly, claim otherwise.
"Selvam wants to join the BJP. He's waiting for the DMK to expel him so he can save his position as an MLA and join the BJP too. If he joins us as an MLA now, he would be disqualified," the source said.
In May, VP Duraisamy, a former MP and Deputy General Secretary of DMK joined the BJP a day after the party sacked him.
With less than a year left for assembly elections in the state, it's a delicate situation for the DMK, which is in opposition in Tamil Nadu.
Expelling Mr Selvam could bring down the party's tally to 96 from 97 in the 234-seat assembly; three party MLAs have died. But, leaving Mr Selvam be could lead to embarrassment as he could speak up against the leadership.
"With polls in May (next year) there could be just two assembly sessions. His expulsion wouldn't make any difference," a DMK source said.