Former AIADMK minister Selvaganapathy joins DMK

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Chennai, Aug 28: Expelled AIADMK leader T M Selvaganapthy today joined the ruling DMK, marking yet another Jayalalithaa loyalist switching sides.

Two days after AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa showed the door to former minister Selvaganapathy, he along with his supporters joined the DMK in the presence of party president and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at the DMK headquarters 'Anna Arivalayam' here.

This marks yet another loyalist of Jayalalithaa joining the rival camp after being expelled from the AIADMK.

In a sudden development, Ms Jayalalithaa had expelled Selvaganapathy on August 26 for bringing disrepute to the party and acting against the party's interest.

Mr Selvaganapathy, who had served as Local Administration and Housing Minister in the Jayalalithaa Cabinet during 1991-96, was considered as the strongman of AIADMK in Salem district, the western part of Tamil Nadu.

He is believed to have incurred the wrath of party supremo Jayalalithaa for his tacit relation with DMK minister Veerapandi S Arumugham.

Mr Selvaganapathy was one of the many ministers in the 1991-96 AIADMK regime to be hauled up before the special court on corruption charges. The court had convicted and sentenced him to five years rigorous imprisonment in the colour television scam case. His appeal against the special court order was pending before Madras High Court.

Mr Selvaganapathy was also convicted in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case along with Jayalalithaa and her close aide Sasikala by the special court, but acquitted by the High Court.

Mr Selvaganapathy was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1999. He defeated Congress leader late Vazhapadi K Ramamurty. However, he was kept in sideline for more than a year and came back to limelight when Jayalalithaa appointed him as Salem West District Secretary.

Already former ministers Raja Kannappan and Indira Kumari, who faced corruption charges, were in the DMK camp now.

Considered as a true loyalist former Assembly Speaker Sedapatti R Muthaiah also joined the DMK after he fell out with Ms Jayalalithaa.

While many of the loyalists joined the DMK, a few like former minister Azhagu Thirunavukkarasu and G Viswanathan were not active in politics after they were sidelined.

UNI

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