In the last two weeks, party leader D Jayakumar -- who does the firefighting for the party -- has been struggling to respond to questions raised during press conferences. Last month, it was AIADMK Lok Sabha MP OP Raveendranath’s support to the Triple Talaq Bill.
The Theni MP, son of AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam (OPS), has created a sense of dissent in AIADMK for blindly supporting the BJP. The party functionaries, especially in the camp of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, were also worried about the growing disagreements.
Earlier, former Rajya Sabha MP V Maithreyan had also heaped praises on DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi for creating unease among the followers of Jayalalithaa and party founder MGR. Most recently, AIADMK legislator M Manikandan, who was dropped from the ministry, had accused Palaniswami of unilaterally taking decisions related to the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation without consulting with him.
“There is a rat race between the AIADMK MPs Ravindranath and A Navaneethakrishnan on scoring brownie points in Delhi at the cost of party’s ideology,” admitted an AIADMK senior.
An embarrassed senior during his campaign in Vellore told party convenor OPS that the speech of his son supporting the Triple Talaq Bill has not gone well among the Muslim voters in Vellore. “When Amma was there, no one dared to voice their personal views, but now the discipline in the party has gone for a toss,” the party senior said.
— C S Kotteswaran, Chennai