Caste factor in Vellore AIADMK irks party workers

Disgruntled AIADMK cadre, who sought the support of same-caste members from other parties to put up a show of strength, have irked the grassroot-level party workers in the district.
Caste factor in Vellore AIADMK irks party workers

Vellore

Already upset by the delay in filling various posts in the AIADMK and its sister organisations more than four months after the announcement of the Vellore district trifurcation, the cadre were taken aback when caste suddenly reared its head when then Vellore East (now Ranipet district secretary) and Arakkonam MLA S Ravi axed Wallajahpet and Arcot panchayat union party secretaries NA Poongavanam and Tajpura K Kutty recently.

As both belong to the Vannia community and were close to Vellore West district secretary (now Tirupattur district secretary) and Commercial Taxes Minister KC Veeramani, they immediately complained to the party high command. However, to reinforce their clout they wanted to put up a show of strength when they went to Chennai recently to complain.

Hence, the duo, wanting to create an impression that Ravi was against the Vannia community, sought support from the community members belonging to the PMK and the AMMK. This has irritated the party cadre as the common feeling was that such a move would alienate the SC community which right from the MGR days had been the party’s backbone.

As one cadre said, “The axed functionaries fail to understand how the public would react even after they witnessed the drubbing the party got in the Vellore Parliament polls when the BJP government downgraded the Jammu and Kashmir.” AIADMK senior functionary KP Munuswamy, who conducted the enquiry into the issue, sought an explanation from Ravi, who bluntly informed him that he removed both as they failed to perform.

“New office-bearers were nominated to both the posts only after party coordinator O Paneerselvam and joint coordinator Epaddi K Palaniswami okayed it,” he said.

“With a tussle already on to fill the powerful Vellore district secretary’s post with a person from the town’s dominant Mudaliar community as against the minister’s wish to place one of his supporters at the helm of power, the current move bodes ill for the party if action is not initiated before the local body polls,” said a senior functionary seeking anonymity.

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