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Palaniswami changes his approach towards inner party squabbles

After his return from New Delhi, the only development with any bearing on the inner party affairs was the expulsion of veteran leader Panruti S. Ramachandran from the organisation

September 30, 2022 10:06 am | Updated 12:50 pm IST - CHENNAI:

Edappadi K. Palaniswami. File.

Edappadi K. Palaniswami. File. | Photo Credit: Raghunathan SR

There is one observation that comes out clear after the recent visit of AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami to New Delhi—he appears to have become less strident in his remarks on inner party squabbles.

On Thursday, Mr. Palaniswami addressed meetings in Sivakasi and Madurai. In Sivakasi, he made only a veiled attack on the rival camp led by ousted leader O. Panneerselvam, who still called himself coordinator of the AIADMK. Mr. Palaniswami said those who claimed that all the AIADMK workers were with them should see for themselves the “massive crowd” in Sivakasi. In Madurai, even such a reference was missing.

About 10 days ago in New Delhi, where the interim general secretary called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah, to highlight ostensibly issues of Tamil Nadu, he avoided making any critical comment on his erstwhile party colleague.

This was in contrast to the way the former Chief Minister attacked Mr. Panneerselvam and described him as a chameleon earlier this month when he went to the party headquarters for the first time since being made the interim general secretary on July 11.

After his return from New Delhi, the only development with any bearing on the inner party affairs was the expulsion of veteran leader Panruti S. Ramachandran from the organisation. But that was only expected as Mr. Ramachandran had recently been publicly critical of Mr. Palaniswami’s leadership and he was “appointed political advisor” of the Panneerselvam camp.

However, a key supporter of Mr. Palaniswami dismisses the suggestion of any change in the approach of his camp. “We are carrying on our work, as planned. There is no need for us to work out any compromise with the other side,” says a former Minister. He insists that contrary to reports in sections of the media, there has been no “advice” from the BJP that all factions should remain united for taking on the DMK effectively at the time of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

Meanwhile, Mr. Panneerselvam made one more announcement of appointment of office-bearers to different wings and secretaries to 10 organisation district units.  An important figure of his camp points out that the appointments are being made with the view to developing a “parallel network” gradually. He foresees the coming-together of Mr. Panneerselvam, former interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala and AMMK general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran without disturbing their respective organisational bodies.

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