Big losers leave AIADMK short of good choices

Last Updated 20 May 2016, 19:58 IST

The AIADMK is now working out the permutation and combination to fill ministerial berths after two frontrunners, Natham Viswanathan and Vaithilingam, lost the elections.

Also, the recent Chennai floods seems to have dented the prospects of other important sitting ministers, B Valarmathi (Thousand Lights) and S Gokula Indira (Annanagar), who too lost the polls.

O Panneerselvam, however, continues to remain the second in command after AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, and is likely to retain the finance portfolio.

Though the ruling outfit has several options, Viswanathan and Vaithilingam, who were considered third and fourth in the Cabinet, were very effective in handling their portfolios, Electricity and Housing respectively.

Sources said Viswanathan lost the elections as most of the party cadres were unhappy over the fact that he was contesting in Athoor constituency.

But in the case of Vaithilingam, sources said the loss is as result of the neglect shown to his constituency during the last five years.

Veteran politician Panruti Ramachandran, who jumped ship from Vijayakanth’s DMDK  to AIADMK, could have got a ministry if he had won the Alandur constituency.

Industries minister P Thangamani, who was among the prospective leaders and is in the good books of the party high command, is expected to be considered for one of the plum posts.

“Senior ministers and the high command is in the process of preparing the list, which will be given to the governor along with the party’s support letter very soon”, said a senior AIADMK leader on Friday.

According to him, the AIADMK has senior leaders and former ministers such as Sengottiyan, Palaniappan, Jayakumar and Shanmugam who can take over ministries if they were given an opportunity.

Jaya elected leader

A day after wining the election and retaining power, AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa was elected as leader of the legislature party.

At a meeting of the 132 newly-elected legislators here, a resolution  was adopted unanimously electing party chief Jayalalithaa as their Legislature Party leader. AIADMK party sources said that Jayalalithaa was expected to meet Governor Dr Rosaiah on Saturday and formally stake her claim to form the next government.

(Published 20 May 2016, 19:58 IST)

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