The AIADMK crisis: who'll take the party forward?

Expulsions galore as factions await Governor’s call

E. Madhusudhanan flanked by O. Panneerselvam and K.P. Munusamy addresses the media in Chennai on Friday.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Rival factions of the AIADMK on Friday ended up expelling party presidium chairman E. Madhusudhanan and interim general secretary V. K. Sasikala, respectively, even as they hoped to get the coveted call from the Raj Bhavan to prove their strength in the Assembly. Prominent leader from western TN, K.A. Sengottaiyan, was appointed the presidium chairman of the AIADMK (Sasikala) faction.

In a related development, the Public Prosecutor who on Thursday claimed that 130 MLAs, whose support the Sasikala faction claimed to have, were residing at the MLAs’ hostel, did a volte face and informed the Madras High Court that they were staying elsewhere. Amid allegations that some legislators were being confined at a private resort in Koovathur near Chennai against their will, the court sought a report from the State. This prompted the Sasikala camp to selective produce before journalists nearly a dozen MLAs — in separate batches and under watchful eyes — outside the resort.

The day began with Ms. Sasikala announcing the expulsion of Mr. Madhusudhanan, who on Thursday switched loyalties to Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam. She also removed him the primary membership of the party.

Mr. Madhusudhanan struck back by announcing that Ms. Sasikala has been removed as interim general secretary of the party, a post to which she was “appointed” in late December 2016. In the evening, he declared that he had written to the Election Commission of India not to recognise her appointment as general secretary, since she had not served the party as a member continuously for five years as per the AIADMK’s by-laws. Ms. Sasikala was expelled from the party by the late Jayalalithaa in 2011 and re-admitted after a few months. He said that soon a new general secretary will be appointed as per party by-law.

The Panneerselvam faction attracted the support of former Union Minister of State for Petroleum Ponnusamy, who represented the PMK in the Vajpayee-led NDA government a decade ago and later joined the AIADMK.

Stalin for floor test

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin met Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao at the Raj Bhavan in the evening and urged him to ensure that a floor test was conducted in the Assembly to ensure a stable government. Late in the evening, Ms. Sasikala in a brief interaction with her supporters said there was nothing to worry for them. “With all your cooperation, this movement will grow much more. We shall wait for the Governor to protect the Constitution and democracy.”

Addressing the media, Mr. Panneerselvam assured his supporters that they would hear the good news soon and “dharma” would win.

Mr. Madhusudhanan said a committee would be formed to administer the AIADMK’s assets.

In another development, former Minister and sitting MLA Shunmugananthan, who is with the Chief Minister, submitted a complaint at the City Police Commissionerate seeking action against those illegally confining MLAs.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 1:21:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Expulsions-galore-as-factions-await-Governor%E2%80%99s-call/article17285860.ece

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