Appointment of DMK district secretaries leads to disappointment

October 02, 2022 10:03 pm | Updated October 03, 2022 12:27 pm IST - CHENNAI

The leadership’s decision has caused disappointment among the party functionaries across the State, who alleged the “hand of a caucus” in deciding the appointments.

The leadership’s decision has caused disappointment among the party functionaries across the State, who alleged the “hand of a caucus” in deciding the appointments.

The enthusiasm among the workers over the DMK leadership’s announcement of elections for district office-bearers has quickly yielded place to disappointment.

After calling upon the functionaries to file applications and pay fees for various posts, including the secretary, the secretary, the presidium chairman and the treasurer, which would normally be contested fiercely, the leadership has chosen to appoint office-bearers to 71 of the 72 district units without elections.

“We are shocked because we thought the election would help to remove some district secretaries and office-bearers who are working against the interests of the party. If elections are held, some of the secretaries in Chennai would not have been elected,” said a local leader of Chennai district.

The leadership’s decision has caused disappointment among the party functionaries across the State, who alleged the “hand of a caucus” in deciding the appointments. “Such appointments took place in the AIADMK under Jayalalithaa. It is unfortunate that the DMK has also decided to follow the same method,” said the Chennai leader.

The list released by the leadership shows that only seven district secretaries have been changed. Most of the changes have taken place in the western region where the party has channelised its efforts to build the organisation.

“If there is an election, we can accept the outcome and will not blame anyone. The appointments, on the other hand, have questioned our existence and the work we have done all these years,” said a leader from the Kongu region. In some places, the aspirants were reportedly asked not to file applications.

Party leaders from the Kongu region said Electricity Minister V. Senthilbalaji and Information Minister M.P. Saminathan played a role in finalising the names of district secretaries. “La. Padmanabhan, who belongs to Tirupur Central, functioned as the secretary of Tirupur East. Now, after the reorganisation of the district units, he has become the secretary of Tirupur South, because he is the supporter of Mr. Saminathan,” alleged the leader from the Kongu region.

Party sources felt Tirupur Mayor N. Dinesh Kumar would have been an ideal choice for secretary of the Tirupur North district. “But the leadership has appointed Selvaraj, who is not popular. Similarly, Thalapathi, who was in other parties including the AIADMK, has been appointed as Coimbatore South secretary,” said another leader.

At the same time, the dissenters agreed that the party had taken the right decision when it came to appointing secretaries for Erode South and North. “Housing Minister S. Muthusamy for Erode South and N. Nallasivam for Erode North are the ideal choices. I will say that the two districts remain a model for all others to follow. Both Mr. Muthusamy and Mr. Nallasivam have a very good public contact,” a source said.

Though a section complained that P. Palaniappan, who had joined the DMK from the AIADMK recently, has been made the district secretary of Dharmapuri West, a senior leader explained that he was a good worker and enjoyed the support at the grassroot.

In the south also, there are complaints over the choice of candidates. The party is not able to finalise the secretary for Tenkasi (North) because of a legal dispute.

A leader from the DMK headquarters, however, justified the appointments, saying this was the first time appointments had been made. “We were not in power for 10 years. The district secretaries have worked for the party and the leadership does not want to disturb [many of] them when the party is in power,” he argued.

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