AIADMK: OPS urges party unity ahead of Vikravandi Bypoll

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri O. Panneerselvam calling on the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on January 19, 2017.
Chennai: In a heartfelt appeal to the AIADMK cadres, ousted leader O Panneerselvam (OPS) on Friday called for the party to align with the expectations of its members and overcome internal divisions.

Without directly naming AIADMK General Secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami, OPS emphasized the need for unity to prevent one individual’s self-serving ambitions from fracturing the party.

In a social media post, OPS reminisced about the party’s roots, highlighting the revolutionary leadership of M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, under whom AIADMK evolved into a formidable people’s movement. He expressed concern over the current divisions within the party, urging leaders to take decisive action to unify and prepare for the upcoming Vikravandi bypoll on July 10.

“The cadres wonder whether the party would continue in the same manner and register another potential defeat in the July 10 Vikravandi bypoll or would the leaders come together to fight the Vikravandi bypoll as a single and strong political force to achieve an impressive victory, akin to the party’s 2019 bypoll wins,” OPS stated.

The sentiment among party members, according to OPS, is one of longing for a return to the victorious path, reversing the recent streak of losses. He emphasized that unity should not be viewed as a threat to any individual’s control over the party but as a necessary step for its survival and success.

“Without thinking that unification of the AIADMK would weaken their grip over the party, everyone should take a collective decision with an open mind to save the party,” he wrote.

This call for unity is not new from OPS. Just a few days prior, the former Chief Minister issued a similar statement, indicating his willingness to engage in discussions and make personal sacrifices for the greater good of the AIADMK.