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‘Disgruntled’ MLAs giving tough time to EPS

With ‘disgruntled’ MLAs making a beeline to the Secretariat to meet Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy in the last two days, the ruling party is not able to find time to celebrate the completion of one year in office in the state.

‘Disgruntled’ MLAs giving tough time to EPS
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While the MLAs met CM Palanisamy at the Secretariat, Tiruvadanai MLA Karunas met him in his house

Chennai

“Palanisamy finds the going tough as he lacks the charisma and skill to keep the flock together,” said an MLA seeking anonymity. “Sitting MLAs revealing that development works are now on the back burner is only adding to his woes,” he added. 

On Monday, eight MLAs - ND Venkatachalam (Perundaurai), Senthil Balaji (Aravakurichi), P Palaniappan (Pappireddipatti), Doosi K Mohan (Cheyyar), R Murugan (Harur), R Balasubramani (Ambur), VP Sivasubramaniam (Modakurichi) and Mariappan Kennedy (Manamadurai) met Palanisamy. Immediately after the meeting at the Secretariat, ministers D Jayakumar and KA Sengottaiyan went into a huddle. Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai also joined the discussions indicating the seriousness of the situation.

Balasubramani later told the media that he had no knowledge about development works in his constituency. “Former Chief Minster J Jayalalithaa told me that my request for a college in my constituency will be considered. But now I don’t know the status of my request,” he added. 

In addition to calling for the expeditious merger of rival factions, the MLAs complained that no new scheme was announced despite completing a year in office. Another issue was that most MLAs were in the dark about the merger talks, as functionaries were speaking in different voices. 

With MLAs from the SC community already meeting in a private hotel in the city some time ago, as they felt their community was being sidelined, another group under former minister Vaigai Selvam has also been attempting to gain importance. 

Political analyst T George opined, “The sudden dissent is due to MLAs feeling insecure that they were able to achieve nothing even after one year. Unlike Jayalalithaa, they know they can impose their demands on EPS with impunity as he will be reluctant to take action against erring MLAs at present.” Political observers noted that even EPS completing 100 days in office passed without a whimper as it cannot be called an Edappadi Palanisamy’s government. “The government is even now referred to as Jayalalithaa’s government,” said Ravindran Duraiswamy. 

However, party insiders confided that the main reason for the recalcitrance was due to the promises made by party general secretary VK Sasikala when MLAs were housed in the Koovathur resort in February prior to the confidence vote, not being kept. It now waits to be seen how EPS will handle his proposed meeting with the Prime Minister on Wednesday.

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