The party said in a statement that Palaniswami, along with former health minister C Vijaya Baskar, went to meet Panneerselvam to offer his condolences over the death of the latter’s brother O Balamurugan last month, but sources within the AIADMK are seeing more to it than what meets the eye.
According to them, the meeting holds political significance as it came a day after Palaniswami held a surprise meeting with his supporters at the party headquarters in Chennai on Friday. All these developments were widely considered to be triggered by the recent moves of Sasikala, who is reaching out to the rebels over phone. “OPS is upset with a few party functionaries, which is why he began sending statements on his own (unlike joint statements issued along with EPS as usual). We are confident that these issues will be sorted out between EPS and OPS,” said a party senior. Terming the internal issues within the AIADMK as a normal matter in every political party, like sibling rivalry and senior leaders being sidelined in the DMK, the senior blamed the media for promoting Sasikala and raking up issues in the party.
Meanwhile, party’s former MP KC Palanisamy on Saturday urged all factions and rebel groups to come together. “In my view, Sasikala should give up hopes of leading the party and join forces with AIADMK. All leaders, including OPS, EPS and Sasikala, have benefitted from AIADMK and now they should let go of their ego and merge to help revive the party,” he said.
AIADMK has become a party of cadre after the death of former general secretary J Jayalalithaa, and the leadership should hear them out, he opined. Palanisamy also demanded cadre enrolment and intraparty election under the supervision of senior leader and presidium chairman E Madhusudhanan.