Chennai, Feb 17 (IANS) Finally, it is official. Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Friday told AIADMK office-bearers in Theni district that he merged his faction with the ruling faction on the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
All these days, the two factions — one led by Panneerselvam and the ruling faction led by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami — had been saying that the BJP has no role in their internal affairs.
Panneerselvam told partymen that during a courtesy meeting, Modi had suggested to merge his faction with the other to save the party.
The Deputy Chief Minister and party Coordinator Panneerselvam also said that it was on Modi’s suggestion that he agreed to become a Minister.
Soon after the death of former Chief Minister J. Jayalaltihaa, the AIADMK broke into three factions — one led by Panneerselvam and the other two led by Palaniswami and V.K. Sasikala/ T.T.V. Dinakaran.
In 2016, the factions led by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami merged. Post merger the party got its poll symbol — two leaves — and its original name.
The Election Commission had frozen the party name and its poll symbol as the factions demanded that they be allotted the name and the symbol.
Asked about Panneerselvam’s revelation, Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar (part of the ruling faction led by Palaniswami) said he could not comment on the conversation that happened between Modi and Panneerselvam.
However, he said, whosoever had suggested to keep out the Sasikala family from AIADMK was right.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party chief Tamilisai Soundararajan declined to comment on the issue, but added that Modi might have suggested something during his conversation with Panneerselvam.
According to her, the BJP does not interfere in the affairs of other parties.