Chennai: Soon after Madurai West MLA and senior party leader Rajan Chellappa said AIADMK should be brought under one leadership, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who are also the party’s joint coordinator and coordinator, today reacted to it.
Speaking to reporters today in Madurai, Rajan Chellappa insisted that the general body meeting of the party should be convened at the earliest.
He said that EPS-OPS factions have not truly merged yet and there is still confusion on who holds true power in the party.
“The one who has more popularity among the cadres should take over the reigns of the party. The leadership quality which former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa possessed is now missing. Had the AIADMK worked in a more focussed manner, the party would have emerged victorious in the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.
He further said Palaniswami has implemented more projects than Jayalalithaa. He also questioned who prevented the newly-elected AIADMK MLAs from visiting Jayalalithaa’s memorial in Marina after they won the by-election.
Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of an event at his native Edappadi, Palaniswami said he cannot comment on what Rajan Chellappa said as he was not fully aware of it.
However, he assured that there was no split in the party and everything was well.
“The newly-elected MLAs did not visit Jayalalithaa’s memorial because construction work is going on at the site,” was his simple explanation.
Palaniswami was in Edappadi to inaugurate various infrastructure projects including a bridge and a new treasury office.
He said bridges are being built based on the requests made by the people.
“The bridges are built to reduce the time taken for travel and bring down the number of accidents,” he said. He added that people have also requested several other infrastructure developments which will be fulfilled in the future.
Palaniswami said the AIADMK was ready to face civic polls and would emerge victorious.
Earlier in the the day, reacting to Rajan Chellapa’s statement, Panneerselvam said he can make any comment only after seeing the interview video.
Recently, Panneerselvam, along with his son and Theni MP O P Raveendranath Kumar, visited Jayalalithaa’s memorial at the Marina and paid tributes.
He was accompanied by AIADMK office-bearers, including Minister R B Udhayakumar.