) Senior leaders of the AIADMK, including K. Palaniswami and O.Panneerselvam met online on Thursday from different parts of Tamil Nadu to take measures to prevent the exodus of party cadres.
A senior leader of the party privy to the meeting told IANS that the meeting was necessitated following the recent joining of several functionaries of the party to the DMK in Salem district. Those who left the party and joined DMK included C. Chelladurai, district secretary of the party’s farmer’s wing. It is to be noted that Palaniswami is the district secretary of the Salem district of AIADMK.
In Theni, the home district of former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, a section of the party leaders have opted for the AMMK and some for the ruling DMK. This has given a jolt to the AIADMK leaders as Theni and the Thevar community have been a stronghold for the AIADMK.
The outbursts of the Villupuram district secretary of the AIADMK, C.Ve. Shanmugham on Tuesday night at a public function organised that the party lost the Assembly election due to its alliance with the BJP, has created a flutter. The former minister said that because of the alliance with the BJP, the traditional minority Muslim voters of the AIDAMK shifted their position and the party lost even in its strongholds.
While senior leaders, including party coordinator Panneerselvam immediately stepped up and announced that the opinion aired by C.Ve. Shanmugham was in his personal capacity and not as an office-bearer of the AIADMK.
The AIADMK is also facing stiff opposition in the northern parts of the state with several of the middle and senior level cadres not happy with the alliance partner, the Pattali Makkal Katchi(PMK). The erstwhile AIADMK government had announced a 10.5 per cent reservation for the Vanniyar community in the Most Backward Caste(MBC) quota thus benefitting a huge number of students of the community getting admission to professional colleges including medicine and engineering. The north part of the state has Vanniyars in majority.
The party had expelled its spokesman, V. Pugazhendi in June for criticizing the PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss and the AIADMK cadres at the grassroots level are unhappy with the decision.
V.M. Sundarapandyan, an AIADMK functionary in Arkonam told IANS, “Our party’s leadership must ponder over its relationship with the PMK as we know that at the grassroots there is great friction between the cadres. PMK is behaving as if they are not in our alliance.”
In the online meeting , the AIADMK leadership decided to conduct a one-day workshop of all the district secretaries and will also direct the district units to conduct grassroots meetings and workshops to chalk out protest programs on the failures of the DMK government.