Chennai: The ruling AIADMK  on Thursday flayed rebel leader TTV Dhinakaran for saying it would "struggle" to secure deposit in the bypolls to 20 Assembly seats, including those of the 18 disqualified party MLAs, and said those in the rival camp were in a "confused state of mind". 

It said Dhinakaran's statement showed how much the family of deposed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, including Dhinakaran, was "against" former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

On Wednesday, Dhinakaran had said in Madurai that the 18 disqualified MLAs will not appeal against the Madras high court verdict upholding their disqualification, as decided by them originally, but will face the elections, which was seen as a U-turn by his critics.

AIADMK ridiculed Dhinakaran for his volte-face and said the disqualified MLAs were in a "confused state of mind". 

"They have perhaps decided against appealing since it is clear that they might not win the case in the Supreme Court," the part said.

Two judges (of the Madras high court) had upheld the disqualification. Dhinakaran had exuded confidence that his Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) will trump the AIADMK in the bypolls.

"We are not going for an appeal. We will be facing the polls... AMMK will secure a grand victory in all 20 seats and AIADMK has to struggle to even secure deposit," he had said.

While the 18 segments have fallen vacant following the disqualification process, two other seats-- Thiruvarur and Thirupparankundram, are also vacant due to the death of the respective MLAs, then DMK chief M Karunanidhi, and AK Bose of the AIADMK.

Opposition parties, including DMK, have demanded that bypolls should be immediately held for all 20 seats.

Earlier, following the October 25 high court order upholding their disqualification by Speaker P Dhanapal last year, the MLAs had decided to move the apex court, after holding consultations with Dhinakaran in Madurai.

The Madras high court had upheld the June 14 order of the then chief justice disqualifying them.

Justice M Sathyanarayanan had heard the pleas of the rival parties after a bench of then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave a split verdict on June 14.

On Thursday, AIADMK spokesperson RM Babu Murugavel took exception to Dhinakaran's remarks that AIADMK would 'struggle' to secure deposit in the 20 seats if bypolls were held there.

"When he (Dhinakaran) himself says that AIADMK will lose deposit, it shows how much they (Sasikala's family) were against the party and Amma," he said.

Jayalalithaa is addressed as Amma by party supporters.

To a query, Murugavel said his party was prepared to face the polls anytime.

This was evident from the fact that it had recently named election in-charge for all 20 seats, including AIADMK coordinator and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, for the respective segments.

Murugavel expressed confidence that the ruling party would emerge victorious in all 20 seats, if the elections were to be held "even tomorrow".