Speaking after deliberations at the party headquarters here with office-bearers on administrative issues, the senior leader praised Chief Minister K Palaniswami for the state government's "pioneering" work in the fight against COVID-19.
"A decision will be announced at the appropriate time by the party top brass after due consultations at the highest level. I request the media to please wait till then," he told reporters here to a question when a meeting would be held to decide the Chief Ministerial candidate and if the matter was deliberated on Thursday. If there would be a meeting of district secretaries and ministers to deliberate on the matter, he said "we are not worried about it. This is not an issue at all. It is the media which is magnifying it."
Leading to speculations of powerplay in the ruling party, the debate on "Chief Minister candidate" was triggered after Madurai based leader and Minister Sellur K Raju days ago said the CM would be chosenby elected MLAs while his cabinet colleague K T Rajenthra Bhalaji favoured projecting the incumbent.
Senior AIADMK leader and Minister D Jayakumar on Wednesday said the opinions of the two ministers cannot be construed as the official party line and that such decisions will be taken by appropriate bodies. He had also said airing of opinions in public will "weaken" the party workers' resolve to ensure the AIADMK rule continued after the polls but indicated such decisions will be 'smooth'.
On preparatory work for the assembly elections by the party, Munusamy said it had begun a long ago and was continuing, citing regular meetings and consultations inthe party wings. Palaniswami was "leading the government now" efficiently and he was ably being assisted by his deputy O Panneerselvam and all other Ministers, he said.
Palaniswami-led government is a role model for others in the efficient management of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. To a question on BJP state vice president V P Duraisamy claiming that his party would lead the AIADMK combine in Tamil Nadu, Munusamy said the party's state unit chief L Murugan himself said the alliance with AIADMK continued. He has also said the ruling party in Tamil Nadu led the alliance.
Munusamy, elected to Rajya Sabha in March, is an AIADMK veteran and he was with the Panneerselvam camp before the factions led by Palaniswami and the Deputy Chief Minister joined hands in August, 2017.
For the AIADMK, the 2021 battle would be the first assembly elections after the demise of its supremo Jayalaithaa, who had led the party to a second straight term five years ago.
She had died in December, 2016.