CHENNAI:Ousted AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Sunday left for Ahmedabad in Gujarat. He said he is going to participate in the Gujarat Tamil Sangam’s programme.
OPS called his travel to the native state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah apolitical. "Gujarat Tamil Sangam invited me to participate in their Pongal festival. Accepting the invitation, I am going to Gujarat. "There is nothing political in it," said OPS, refusing to speak further. He was accompanied by his supporter and MLA, Manoj Pandian.
However, the travel in the midst of Erode East Constituency by-poll preperation gains political importance. Rumors started to fly thick and fast as OPS was trying to reach out to Modi or Shah through a political channel based in Ahmedabad to seek their support for his camp.
On Saturday, he declared that he would field a candidate in the by-election, which was necessitated following the demise of Congress MLA E Thirumahan Everaa, "on behalf of the AIADMK." Later on the day, he called on BJP’s state president K Annamalai at Kamalalayam to seek the saffron party’s support for his camp. He even told the media that he would be supporting the BJP if it decides to field a candidate in the by-election.
Ahead of OPS, his rival camp, led by the Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami, announced that they would field a candidate in Erode East in the Western Belt and also sought the support of the allies, including the BJP.