Chennai: While Deepavali arrived in advance for the AIADMK thanks to its victory in the Vikravandi and Nanguneri by-elections, fireworks are expected to continue even after the festival of lights, courtesy strategies being devised by Chief Minister and the party’s joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami.
If sources in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam are to be believed, the Chief Minister is keen to continue the good show in the soon-to-be held local body elections. ”He firmly believes that the Nanguneri and Vikravandi victory, coupled with the party’s performance in the civic polls, would play a big role in deciding the AIADMK’s fortunes in the 2021 Assembly elections,” sources say.
Elaborating EPS’ plans, they state: ”He wants to strengthen the party and those who left the AIADMK after the death of Jayalalithaa would be invited back. Soon, AMMK leader and TTV Dhinakaran’s once trusted lieutenant Pugazhendi would return to the parent party. He would be followed by others, including a strongman in Chennai. This was discussed when Pugazhendi called on Palaniswami in Salem Friday,” the sources say, adding: ”Some seniors from other parties including the DMK too would switch over to the AIADMK.”
The Chief Minister’s next target is to strengthen ties with alliance partners. ”He is already maintaining cordial relationship with the PMK, DMDK and BJP. This will grow stronger in the weeks to come. Sizeable number of seats will be allocated to allies in the local body elections and the alliance would continue for 2021”.
Last, but not the least, Palaniswami, whose stature is already on the rise in the AIADMK, is set to gain more control over the party. ”This will be done without hurting other seniors,” sources add.
When asked about the possible return of V K Sasikala to the AIADMK, once she is back from Parapana Agrahara jail where she is currently serving sentence in disproportionate assets case, their reply was: ”We are clear about ‘EPS for 2021’. He will be our leader”.