AIADMK MLAs in Puducherry play it safe

Om Sakthi Sekar distributes sweets among his supporters after learning about Panneerselvam’s revolt

Updated - August 21, 2017 04:51 pm IST

Published - February 09, 2017 01:25 am IST - PUDUCHERRY:

The former MLA Om Sakthi Sekar distributing sweets among his supporters after news spread about O. Panneerselvam's open revolt against Ms. Sasikala.

The former MLA Om Sakthi Sekar distributing sweets among his supporters after news spread about O. Panneerselvam's open revolt against Ms. Sasikala.

While the four MLAs belonging to the Puducherry unit of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kahagam maintained a calculated silence on the leadership tussle between Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and party general secretary V.K. Sasikala, senior party leader and former MLA Om Sakthi Sekar came out in support of Mr. Panneerselvam and questioned the rationale of Ms. Sasikala stepping into the Chief Minister’s chair.

The usually forthcoming secretary of the local unit A. Anbazhagan and three other MLAs did not respond to calls from The Hindu .

Sources close to the MLAs told The Hindu that the members had decided to adopt a wait-and-watch approach to see how the political developments pan out in Tamil Nadu before taking a final call.

The silence maintained by the legislators, especially that maintained by Mr. Anbazhagan, was just contrary to the open stand taken by them in favour of Ms. Sasikala. The MLAs had openly expressed their desire to see Ms. Sasikala filling the vacuum created by the demise of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

In contrast, Mr. Sekar immediately after the news spread about Mr. Panneerselvam’s revolt against Ms. Sasikala, distributed sweets and burst crackers at Nellithope on Tuesday night.

He told The Hindu that he was saddened by the party decision to remove Mr. Panneerselvam after he performed his duties in the last two months in an excellent manner.

The former party legislator said Mr. Panneerselvam enjoyed the trust and goodwill of the late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. “He was made Chief Minister twice by Jayalalithaa because of the goodwill he enjoyed. Only a person having the trust of people should occupy the post,” he said.

Mr. Sekar expressed doubts about the administrative acumen of Ms. Sasikala and whether she would be able to enjoy the trust of people.

Senior politician P. Kannan, who had resigned after Ms. Sasikala was made the head of AIADMK Legislature Party, on Wednesday said she had taken the decision to occupy the Chief Minister’s chair with a hidden agenda.

“She first made Mr. Panneerselvam the Chief Minister. There is a clear agenda behind the latest move,” he alleged.

Either way the dice rolls in the power struggle in the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu was certain to have its repercussions on politics in Puducherry.

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