Sasikala to be re-inducted to AIADMK?

Sasikala to be re-inducted to AIADMK? Here's what Panneerselvam has to say

The remark of OPS assumes significance especially when his colleague K Palaniswami had days ago firmly ruled out scope for her return

An all-out war broke in the AIADMK on Monday over party coordinator O Panneerselvam’s comments that a decision on reinducting ousted interim general secretary V K Sasikala into the party will be taken by the office-bearers. 

In a brief interaction with the media in Madurai, Panneerselvam, flanked by former ministers belonging to the powerful Mukulathor community, also schooled his deputy Edappadi K Palaniswami on the need to maintain “dignity and discipline” disapproving the former chief minister’s “unparliamentary remarks” against Sasikala. 

 “AIADMK is a party that is based on cadre strength. Our late leader M G Ramachandran has nurtured the party in such away. The party is currently being run under the leadership of the coordinator and joint coordinator. Any decision on including her (Sasikala) in the party will be taken by the office-bearers of the headquarters,” Panneerselvam said.

Also Read | AIADMK's jubilee fete begins, Sasikala makes strong pitch for comeback 

He was responding to a question on AIADMK’s stand vis-à-vis Sasikala’s political reassertion. “Those in the AIADMK, be it cadre or those in high positions, should remember ‘Duty, Dignity, Discipline’ mantra propagated by late C N Annadurai. We should always maintain dignity and political discipline,” Panneerselvam said on Palaniswami using “unparliamentary language” to refer to Sasikala last week.

Hours after Panneerselvam’s statement, AIADMK leaders D Jayakumar and K P Munusamy reminded the party coordinator that it was he who led the rebellion against Sasikala in 2017. The party leaders also disapproved of OPS’ statement on the re-induction of Sasikala, maintaining that there was no room for any negotiation with the expelled leader. 

Panneerselvam’s comments brought out in the open yet again the wide split within the AIADMK – the latest assertion by the former deputy chief minister gives credence to speculation that he will not be averse to doing business with Sasikala against whom he rebelled in 2017. 

Also Read | As it enters 50, bereft of charismatic face, AIADMK faces worst-ever crisis

Palaniswami, who was handpicked by Sasikala as leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party before she proceeded to Bengaluru to surrender before authorities of Parappana Agrahara prison in 2017, is now dead against Sasikala’s re-entry into AIADMK.

“This is the beginning of the split in the AIADMK. We need to see how deep the split will be. With Sasikala’s political reassertion not making much impact, we should wait and watch whether OPS will make himself much more relevant by joining hands with her,” senior journalist R Bhagwan Singh told DH.

The latest comments by Panneerselvam are significant as he was flanked by senior leaders from the Mukulathor community when he addressed the media on Monday. Sasikala, who also belongs to the community, is expected to tour parts of southern Tamil Nadu, which is a stronghold of Mukulathors, later this week. 

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