‘Two Leaves’ Must To Win Polls: Ousted AIADMK Leader To Tamil Nadu”s OPS

OPS hopes to consolidate Amma (late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa) loyalists.


Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who once launched a ‘dharmayudham’ to keep VK Sasikala and her family out of the AIADMK, is cozying up to her nephew TTV Dhinakaran, as the tussle for leadership of the party continues.

The deposed coordinator, heading a small faction, hopes to consolidate Amma (late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa) loyalists to unify the AIADMK factions aiming to coerce another former Chief Minister K Palaniswami, heading the dominant faction, to accept dual leadership in the party.

However, Mr Palaniswami appears to have closed all avenues for rapprochement, insisting that Mr Panneerselvam, who rendered the AIADMK dysfunctional, and his few supporters, have no place in the AIADMK.

“Without the two leaves symbol, the AIADMK is nothing, and it would not be in a position to take on the ruling DMK in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” says Mr Dhinakaran, General Secretary of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).

Not only the party cadres but also the public would solidly back the leader retaining this symbol, he claimed.

Aiming to test the waters, Mr Panneerselvam on Friday expressed his desire to meet Mr Dhinakaran to unite all the AIADMK factions.

“If there’s an opportunity to meet Dhinakaran, I would meet him,” Mr Panneerselvam said.

Recently, Mr Palaniswami, who is the interim General Secretary of the AIADMK, said the party would not take back Dhinakaran and late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala (former interim General Secretary).

“The AIADMK is dysfunctional now. If a by-election approaches, then, the party would not be in a position to authorise aspiring candidates to contest on the two leaves symbol. We have already seen this in the recent civic polls,” Mr Dhinakaran claimed.

He further claimed that Mr Palaniswami is harping on a mega alliance because the AIADMK is leaderless and is not functioning any more.

He urged Amma’s followers to unite to defeat the DMK. “Those who believe themselves to be true followers of Amma should come together to form an alliance and dislodge the ruling DMK,” he told reporters.

Both Mr Palaniswami and Mr Panneerselvam nominated presidents to head the respective district units of the party out of “their hunger for position and claims that all the AIADMK members are with them.” “They will regret this soon,” Mr Dhinakaran warned.

Mr Panneerselvam, who continues to claim himself to be the AIADMK coordinator, on Friday had announced plans to convene the general council of his faction and also visit districts to meet party functionaries.

As the two former Chief Ministers indulge in a slug fest to stamp their supremacy, AIADMK’s former IT wing secretary ‘Aspire’ Swaminathan claimed that the party’s symbol is likely to be frozen soon.

He said in a tweet, “there will be a resignation soon. It will be followed by a by-election… then a fight for Two Leaves symbol will emerge…the symbol will be frozen…The Game starts…” As the AIADMK continues to be a divided house, its ally the BJP is evolving a roadmap to achieve its political ambition of sending, on its own, at least 25 MPs to Parliament in the next Lok Sabha elections.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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