Posters emerge in Tirunelveli against attempts to ‘sideline’ Panneerselvam
The AIADMK plans to hold its legislature party meeting on June 14, even as indications of intra-party differences are coming out into the open and former interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala continues to “reach out” to her “admirers”.
After submitting a petition to DGP J.K. Tripathy for the proposed meeting, organisation secretary D. Jayakumar told reporters on Wednesday that office-bearers of the legislature party would be elected at the meeting that will be held at the party headquarters.
Nearly a month ago (on May 10), former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami was “unanimously elected” as the leader of the legislature party, and consequently, he was recognised as the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly. It took two meetings for the party to decide on his election, as party co-ordinator O. Panneerselvam also wanted the legislators to deliberate on factors that led to the defeat of the party in the election. He identified the 10.5% quota for Vanniyars within the overall reservation for the Most Backward Classes (MBCs) as one of the factors. But the camp led by Mr. Palaniswami did not want an elaborate review then, even though the former Chief Minster briefly explained the rationale behind the internal reservation for Vanniyars.
In different parts of Tirunelveli, posters issued by anonymous “members of the AIADMK” from the Maanur panchyat union were seen on Wednesday morning with a message that AIADMK cadre would “lay siege” to the party headquarters if Mr. Panneerselvam, a “find” of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, “remained sidelined”. The posters, spotted in and around Tirunelveli railway junction, Vannarpet and Palayamkottai, said the party lost in the poll as the coordinator was “not consulted on crucial issues”.
The posters baffled several local party functionaries. Party organisation secretary and chairman of Aavin-Tirunelveli Sudha K. Paramasivan said this could be the “handiwork” of his party’s adversaries. He said he would file a complaint with the police to take action against those behind the posters.
Asked for a comment, Mr. Jayakumar said the coordinator and the co-coordinator would look into the matter. “The conduct of party members should be such that no room is given for questions by our political rivals, especially the DMK, and the media,” he said.
Office-bearers will be elected at the scheduled meeting of the legislature party next week, the way a leader was elected at the previous meeting, he said. “No excitement. No ripples. There are no issues in the party,” the former Minister said.
Meanwhile, M. Anandan, who was the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Minister during the first Ministry headed by Jayalalithaa (1991-96) and later became the Villupuram MP, had a telephonic conversation with Ms. Sasikala. His was among the five audio clips containing Ms. Sasikala’s tele-conversations with her supporters that were available on social media.
In a chat with The Hindu, Mr. Anandan expressed disappointment with the way the party was being run by Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam. He added that apart from himself, many leaders in the party from the Scheduled Castes, including former Minster A. Arunachalam and former leader of the Parliamentary party P. Venugopal, were not given ticket this time to contest the Assembly election.
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