Local body polls, leadership issue dominate AIADMK meeting

Chennai: Preparations for the local body elections and the recent talks calling for single leadership of the AIADMK were the main points of discussion during the AIADMK MLAs and MPs meeting which was held at the party headquarters here today.

Sources said the cadres have been asked not to talk about internal party problems to the media and any grievances can be conveyed to the senior leaders.

The party meeting was called a day after Madurai West MLA and senior party leader Rajan Chellappa said AIADMK should be brought under unitary leadership.

Today’s meeting began 10 am and continued for two hours. It was presided over by AIADMK coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, co-coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

It is said two ministers and three MLAs did not take part in the meeting. Ministers O S Manian and C Ve Shanmugam did not take part in the meeting.

Similarly dissident AIADMK MLAs Rathinasabapathy, V T Kalaisevan, Prabhu did not take part. Sources said they were not invited to take part in the meeting.

Kunnam MLA R T Ramachandran, who also raised the issue of single leadership, did not take part citing health issues.

Speaking to reporters on 8 June in Madurai, Rajan Chellappa urged that the general body meeting of the party be convened at the earliest. He said that EPS-OPS factions have not truly merged and there was 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 had said.

He said Palaniswami has implemented more projects than Jayalalithaa. He also questioned who prevented the newly-elected AIADMK MLAs from visiting Jayalalithaa’s memorial at the Marina after they won the by-election.

Balasubramani Muniyandi