While Mr. Palanimanickam was accused of his alleged role in the defeat of T.R. Baalu in Thanjavur, Mr. K.P. Ramalingam had openly expressed solidarity with Mr. Alagiri's leadership

In a major organisational clean-up, the DMK on Saturday suspended 33 senior functionaries, including its Thanjavur district veteran and former Union Minister S.S. Palanimanickam, former minister and Dharmapuri strongman V. Mullaivendan and Rajya Sabha MP K.P. Ramalingam.

Those facing disciplinary action for having worked against the party’s interests in the recent Lok Sabha polls, are mainly district, union and town secretaries in Thanjavur, Dharampuri, Namakkal, Ramanathapuram, Dindigual and Virudhunagar, besides supporters of Mr. Palanimanickam and former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri.

While Mr. Palanimanickam was accused of his alleged role in the defeat of former Union Minister T.R. Baalu in Thanjavur, Mr. K.P. Ramalingam was a known supporter of Mr. Alagiri and had openly expressed solidarity with his leadership.

DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan said that action had been taken against them based on the recommendation of a two-member panel comprising former MLA P.S. Thiruvengadam and former Minister Thangam Thennarasu, who went through the complaints received from across the State and categorised them under various acts of omission and commission.

They perused all the complaints carefully and presented a report to the party leadership. The suspended functionaries have been asked to respond to the show-cause notices in a week or face expulsion from the party. A DMK source said it was for the first time in many years that such a drastic action had been taken against so many senior-level party functionaries in one stroke.

Shocked

While several of those shown the door were known Alagiri sympathisers and did not work for DMK candidates, the party was shocked that some others had covertly backed the AIADMK candidates in the polls.

The DMK has already doubled the district units with a view to rein in its entrenched district secretaries and provide space for new faces earlier sidelined. It is learnt that party treasurer M. K. Stalin was very firm on the organisational revamp to send out a strong message to the dissenters undermining the party from within.

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