United AIADMK Now Battles Dhinakaran Camp For Control Over Jaya TV

Jaya TV and Namadhu MGR command a huge following

Chennai: A week after the two warring camps of E Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam put aside their differences and merged, the United AIADMK has set its eyes on the party's two mouthpieces - Jaya TV and the daily publication Namadhu MGR - which are currently under the control of sidelined and jailed party chief VK Sasikala's family, who they plan to expel soon. 

These strong media outlets command a huge following and helped late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa connect with the party cadre for nearly two decades.

"This is an asset of the party. We will retrieve it legally," said D Jayakumar, Tamil Nadu's Finance Minister.

But Ms Sasikala's nephew and deputy TTV Dhinakaran's camp says that will not happen. Jaya TV, they point out, is a private company owned by Mavis Satcom Limited, which reportedly was promoted by the Sasikala family. Similarly, Namadhu MGR was founded by Ms Jayalalithaa, but Ms Sasikala owns the press that publishes it.

"They are being stupid about this. If an MLA wants to steal my house, isn't he a crook? Jaya TV is private property. How can they issue an order like that?" asked Nanjil Sampath from the Dhinakaran camp.

Incidentally, the two-leaf, which is the party symbol of the AIADMK for which different factions fought in the Election Commission, is also the logo of Jaya TV. Just like the rising sun is the logo of Sun TV that is owned by the DMK party leadership. So there is a lot of power of symbolism hidden in the channels.

On Monday, the united AIADMK also announced the party's General Council would meet on September 12. At that meeting, Ms Sasikala's ouster may be announced, if it is not done by the Election Commission earlier.