Differences within AIADMK’s Puducherry unit out in the open again

A. Anbalagan

A. Anbalagan

Differences within the Puducherry unit of the AIADMK are out in the open yet again, this time on the stand to be adopted in relation to the Centre’s purported move to give decision-making power on government land to the Lt. Governor.

The Union Territory had requested the Centre to delegate the power to decide on giving government land on lease, rent and sale to the territorial administration. Currently, such decisions rest with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

After reports surfaced about the Centre’s move, the AIADMK secretary, East, A. Anbalagan, issued a statement welcoming it. He argued that there was nothing wrong in empowering the Lt. Governor to make decisions on government land, as the L-G was considered the administrator of the Union Territory.

Minutes after Mr. Anbalagan issued the statement, the AIADMK deputy secretary, East, Vayyapuri Manikantan, openly criticised the Centre for giving the power to the Lt. Governor instead of the Cabinet.

In a statement, he said the AIADMK cannot accept a decision that would go against democratic principles, as giving the power to the Lt. Governor would render the elected government powerless.

The following day, the party secretary, West, Om Sakthi Segar, also issued a statement condemning the move. The decision, according to him, would be a great betrayal of the people who voted to elect a government.

All three, who are former legislators, have been taking different stands on the decisions taken by the All India N.R. Congress-led National Democratic Alliance government over the past year. While Mr. Anbalagan has been supportive of the decisions taken by the Chief Minister, Mr. Manikantan has, on many occasions, criticised the policies of the government. In fact, Mr. Anbalagan has defended the decisions of the Chief Minister whenever he came under sharp attack from the Congress, the DMK and the Left parties.

But what is baffling the ordinary AIADMK functionaries is the split within the East unit of the party, as Mr. Anbalagan and Mr. Manikantan are considered supporters of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

Mr. Segar had proclaimed that he would not accept unitary leadership of the party, prompting Mr. Anbalagan to issue a statement demanding the expulsion of those opposing single leadership.

“It is for the first time in decades that the party does not have representation in the Assembly. We lost all the seats in the last Assembly polls and, if the three leaders are going to fight in the open, the party will not be able to reclaim lost ground. Earlier, the division was among the leaders of the East and West units. Now, differences have cropped up even within the East unit,” a party functionary said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 4:59:00 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/differences-within-aiadmks-puducherry-unit-out-in-the-open-again/article65576179.ece