TTV Dhinakaran fields Simbu's producer in Tirunelveli, nominates Pugazhendi for Hosur

AMMK founder and deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran today replaced his party's Tirunelveli Lok Sabha constituency candidate R Gnana Arulmani with film producer S Michael Rayappan who bankrolled Nadodigal and Simbu starrer AAA. In a statement, Dhinakaran said N Tamilmaran is his party's candidate in Puducherry Lok Sabha seat and V Pugazhendi is AMMK candidate in Hosur Assembly constituency which is facing by-election.

Dhinakaran, a few days ago, announced his party's second and final list of 14 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in Tamilnadu. He also released the manifesto of the AMMK. While Dhinakaran was expected to contest against Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam’s son O P Ravindranath in Theni, he has instead fielded his close aide Thanga Tamilselvan in the constituency.

N G Parthiban and P Palaniappan are the other disqualified MLAs who have been nominated by Dhinakaran. They will contest from Arakkonam and Dharmapuri seats respectively. Meanwhile, Dhinakaran on Thursday categorically refuted Madurai Aadheenam (Mutt) head Arunagiri Nathar's statement that talks being held for its merger with the ruling AIADMK.

"There is no truth in that. There is no need for that," he said in a tweet. Dhinakaran, who was sidelined and subsequently expelled from the AIADMK, termed Nathar's statement about the merger talks as baseless. Dhinakaran is no stranger in Tamil Nadu’s political landscape, as he had earlier represented the state as a Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MP while being associated with the AIADMK.