Chennai: Ahead of the 8 January assembly session, chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and his deputy O. Panneerselvam convened a meeting of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) legislators on Wednesday.

The legislators were told that the party would soon launch a television channel and a newspaper.

According to a senior leader in the party who did not wish to be named, work on the launch of the party newspaper and channel have been on for a few months now. The name of the newspaper would be Namathu Amma while the TV channel’s name is yet to be announced.

The Namathu MGR daily and Jaya TV network, which have served as the party’s mouthpiece over the years, are now controlled by jailed leader V.K. Sasikala and her family.

Following the sidelining of Sasikala and her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran in the AIADMK, the newspaper and television channel have become very critical of the ruling party.

In November, income tax raids under Operation Clean Money targeted shell firms belonging to 10 groups, including those run by members of Sasikala’s family and associates. The raids that went on for five days were also conducted at Jaya TV premises and at the residence of its managing director Vivek Jayaraman, another nephew of Sasikala.

Speaking to the media after the legislators’ meeting on Wednesday, fisheries minister D. Jayakumar said that around 100 legislators attended.

Monday will mark the first session after speaker P. Dhanapal, in September, disqualified 18 AIADMK MLAs for supporting Dhinakaran and revolting against Palaniswami. The session will also witness Dhinakaran’s debut in the assembly after winning the 21 December byelection from the R.K. Nagar constituency, earlier represented by former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa, by a margin of over 40,000 votes.

Legislators have been advised by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami to follow the party whip and maintain decorum in any given situation.

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