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MGR and Amma supporters are on my side: O Paneerselvam amid AIADMK rift

O Paneerselvam embarked on a short trip to Theni, his home district, amid a rift with Edappadi K Palaniswami over the leadership of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

Hitting out at the rival Edappadi K Palaniswami camp within the AIADMK, senior party leader O Panneerselvam on Sunday, June 26, said that the cadres were on his side and asserted that people and party workers would punish his detractors. “MGR and Amma’s supporters are on my side,” Panneerselvam told reporters at Madurai and added that he would also always be with the cadres. On his arrival at Madurai, enroute to his home district of Theni, OPS was accorded a rousing reception by his supporters.

“No one can separate me from the cadre. Similarly no one can remove me from the heart of Puratchi Thalaivi amma (Jayalalithaa). Amma had said that it was a blessing to get a person like Paneerselvam. We will soon come to know who planned this conspiracy and the reason behind such a situation,” he said.

Seemingly slamming Joint Coordinator Palaniswami’s camp for seeking to elbow him out of his position of party Coordinator, Panneerselvam said that the people of Tamil Nadu and the AIADMK cadre would teach a fitting lesson and punish those who were behind the ‘web of conspiracy’, and for being responsible for the current ‘extraordinary situation’ in the party.

The AIADMK witnessed a split earlier this week during the party’s General Council meeting held on June 23, where the demand for unitary leadership was put forth. Soon after the death of party supremo J Jayalalithaa, there were several competing claims for the AIADMK, including from EPS and OPS. In August 2017, the EPS and OPS factions of the party had come together, to sideline and expel Sasikala, an aide of the late Chief Minister. It was then decided that OPS will be the coordinator of the party, and EPS will be the co-coordinator. The post of permanent general secretary was ascribed to Jayalalithaa.

However, days ahead of the general council meeting this year, the issue was reignited. The general council meeting witnessed high drama with the OPS faction being allegedly assaulted and insulted by the EPS faction.

The AIADMK had days ago said that the General Council would meet again on July 11 and EPS would be made the single leader.

Meanwhile, the name of O Paneerselvam has also been removed from the party’s official mouthpiece Namadhu Amma. The names of both OPS and EPS had been mentioned as the founders of the newspaper so far, but the former’s name was removed from the paper dated June 26. Reacting to this, Paneerselvam said that he was not aware of including his name in the paper and was now not aware of its removal also.

(With PTI inputs)

Source: The News Minute