Erode (East) bypoll | Jayakumar accuses Panneerselvam of having attempted to “mortgage” AIADMK to DMK

The AIADMK’s organisation secretary called O. Panneerselvam, the party’s deposed coordinator, a “paper tiger” who had “surrendered” himself to the DMK; the statement came in response to Mr. Panneerselvam’s criticism of the party after its defeat in the Erode (East) bypoll

Updated - March 06, 2023 03:24 pm IST

Published - March 04, 2023 03:26 pm IST - CHENNAI

Former AIADMK Minister D. Jayakumar. File

Former AIADMK Minister D. Jayakumar. File | Photo Credit: MANINATHAN VM

The AIADMK’s organisation secretary and former Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar on Saturday accused the party’s deposed coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, of having attempted to “mortgage” the party to the DMK and having “destroyed” the organisation’s self-identity. 

In a response to Mr. Panneerselvam’s criticism of the party’s interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Friday, Mr. Jayakumar described the former’s observations as those having been made at the “height of frustration.” 

Even though Mr. Panneerselvam voted against the AIADMK regime during the trust motion in February 2017, Mr. Palaniswami had “made him not only Deputy Chief Minister but also coordinator in the party.”  However, he had to take steps to protect the party after he had realised that Mr. Panneerselvam had “surrendered” himself to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Mr. Jayakumar said.

Calling Mr. Panneerselvam a “paper tiger,” Mr. Jayakumar said the former coordinator was seeking to “sow an imaginary seed” that the party would become stronger only by joining hands with persons such as former interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala, against whom Mr. Panneerselvam himself had made charges in the past. Mr. Palaniswami on the other hand, had never spoken ill of the former coordinator, he said.

By ignoring  Mr. Panneerselvam’s “acts of betrayal,” Mr. Palaniswami was devoting himself to the task of safeguarding the party, Mr. Jayakumar added.

Meanwhile, a meeting of secretaries of the district units of the party has been scheduled for March 9.

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