The official faction of the AIADMK led by former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, who has been anointed as the general secretary of the outfit, on Tuesday slammed the expelled leaders close to former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam for attending a meeting called by the Chief Electoral Officer.
AIADMK spokesman and former minister D. Jayakumar said that he and former Deputy Speaker Pollachi V. Jayaraman were officially representing the party in the meeting convened by the Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo on Monday and that others who had come to the meeting claiming to be AIADMK does not have any validity.
Former legislator Kovai Selvaraj, a staunch supporter of Panneerselvam, was present in the meeting and was seated next to Jayakumar and Jayaraman and the board AIADMK was kept in front of Selvaraj. This infuriated Jayakumar and he kept the board in front of him.
In a statement on Tuesday, the OPS faction said that as per the Election commission of India records, Panneerselvam was the party’s coordinator and the person deputed by him had the right to attend the meeting called by the Chief Electoral Officer and hence Kovai Selvaraj attended it.
However, the Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) faction said that the party general council meeting on July 11 had expelled Panneerselvam and others aligned to him and that he nor his supporters does not have a locus standi in attending any official meeting on behalf of the party.
Even as the EPS faction has full control of the AIADMK, the faction close to the former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam is making some attempts to be in the limelight of AIADMK politics until a truce is reached.
Sources in the AIADMK told IANS that Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent visit to Chennai to inaugurate the World Chess Olympiad had communicated to both EPS and OPS regarding the future politics of Tamil Nadu.
While AIADMK is an ally of the NDA, there were moves on the part of the EPS faction for a truck with the Congress to reclaim its lost minority vote bank in Tamil Nadu. The BJP national leadership cannot, however, bank on the state unit of the saffron party to deliver results in the 2024 general elections without the support of the AIADMK and hence possibilities of rapprochement at the behest of the BJP cannot be ruled out.