CHENNAI: Expelled party coordinator O Panneerselvam and his lieutenants R Vaithilingam, Manoj Pandian and JCD Prabhakaran should indeed take comfort in the fact that they were not the first to be banished as ‘traitors’ by their own party.
Since late 1970s, when the party first witnessed a ‘division’ or rather expulsion in the presence of its founder MGR, it has had the dubious distinction of declaring ‘dissenters’ as traitors. Like Viswanathan, Kovi Chezhian and Srinivasan, who were among the first to be condemned as traitors for challenging MGR’s decision to rename the party with ‘All India’ ADMK in the 1976 general council, many successors have also earned the label for disagreeing with the party majority.
In fact, on Twitter, netizens got busy listing leaders branded as traitors in the golden jubilee year of AIADMK. Some of them were SD Somasundaram, KKSSR Ramachandran, Panruti Ramachandran, Thirunavukkarasar, RM Veerappan and Erode Muthusamy, who were called out by the party. Former AIADMK interim general secretary VK Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran joined the illustrious league of ‘traitors’ created by their one-time friends in the last decade.
Even 4-time Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and deceased Janaki MGR could not escape the infamy when they had engineered a split in 1988 after MGR’s demise.
In most cases, including OPS, the reason cited for the estrangement was alleged liaison with the rival DMK, an easy excuse that would convince ordinary AIADMK cadre.
— Karthikeyan K, Chennai