CHENNAI: Deposed AIADMK leader and former chief minister O Panneerselvam and AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran on Friday spoke in unison against Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami for the AIADMK's defeat in the Erode East bypoll.
The DMK- backed Congress candidate EVKS Elangovan secured 1,10,156 votes, accounting for 66.82% of the total votes polled (1,70,563) in the February 27 bypoll, and recorded a victory margin of more than 66,000 votes against K S Thennarasu, who contested in 'Two-Leaves' symbol.
The BJP-backed AIADMK candidate secured little over 43,923 votes.
Coming down heavily on friend-turned-foe EPS, OPS said the party had witnessed such a worst defeat in the election due to the "arrogant" and "autocratic" administration of certain vested interested individuals and his courtiers.
Without taking the name of EPS and his team, OPS in a strongly worded statement said the "traitor" and his sycophants led the party astray to get outflanked by a huge margin of nearly 67,000 votes at the hands of Congress candidate EVKS Elangovan. "A traitor-led autocratic group is responsible for the outcome of the election," he said.
He continued in the same vein and said an egoistic person orchestrated the true loyalists, who were identified and recognised by late party supremo J Jayalithaa, from the party.
Appealing the party cadres to come together to revitalise the party, OPS declared that necessary measures would be taken to unite the party, protect the party bylaws and lead the party in party founder and late leaders MGR and Jayalalithaa to ensure the victory in all the 40 constituencies in the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
Joining the issue, TTV Dhinakaran squarely blamed EPS and his team for defeat of the party candidate in the bypoll. He ridiculed EPS for boasting the Kongu region was the AIADMK's bastion and said, "Had it not been the 'Two-Leaves' symbol, the party would have witnessed even worse loss."
He urged the true loyalists of the party and late leaders to come together under one alliance to defeat the "evil force" in the forthcoming elections.
He also criticised the ruling dispensation that the DMK's alliance victory in Erode East by-poll was not given, but it was bought.
Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!
Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!
Click here for iOS
Click here for Android