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Sons’ rise in ruling camp gives tough time to poll panel in candidate selection
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and party convenor O Panneerselvam are in a state of confusion whether to give seats to political heirs or ignore the aspirations of young Turks affiliated to the AIADMK.
Interestingly, Chief Minister Palaniswami’s son Mithun Kumar did not turn up for the interview, though Mithun’s supporters had earlier filed the applications on his behalf. However, Deputy Chief Minister Panneerselvam’s elder son P Ravindranath appeared for the interview and has been camping in Chennai for the past two days.
A section of Ministers from Kongu region has been opposing the allocation of seats to political heirs, but a group within the AIADMK is demanding seats for sitting MP Jayarvardhan, son of Minister D Jayakumar and P Ravindranath, son of AIADMKleader Panneerselvam.
Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal’s son Lokesh is also seeking The Nilgiris seat creating a sense of confusion among the poll panellists interviewing the AIADMK aspirants. Ravindranath is eying the AIADMK bastion of Theni or Virudhunagar. “For the first time, Ravindranath had met the press at the AIADMK headquarters stating that he has served the party for 21 years as a cadre and as party functionary in the AIADMK Peravai. In my opinion, he should wait for some more time. If the party gives seat it will look like promoting nepotism,” said a former AIADMK MLA who will be attending the interview for the bypoll seats on Wednesday.
“In the case of Jayavardhan, the decision was taken by Amma (former chief minister J Jayalalithaa) and he is a sitting MP. But giving seats to political heirs will bring bad repute to the party. We have to wait and see what the party leadership is up to,” he said.
“Ravi (OPS son) is young and is a popular figure in Theni. Further, he has built a good rapport with the party workers. Feilding Ravi will be the correct choice. Whether it is DMK, PMK or DMDK all the parties in the state promote family members so what is wrong in giving the seat to OPS son,” said an AIADMK platform speaker wishing not to be quoted confirming that a section of AIADMK Ministers is unhappy with the aspiring heirs.
Further, in case of Theni, there is no strong party candidate and the once-influential Thangathamizhselvan has joined the rival AMMK faction. Under these circumstances, Ravi can be a victorious spendthrift candidate, he opined.