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Palaniswami becomes rivals’ choice target on Jaya death anniversary

CHENNAI: On the sixth death anniversary of former party supremo J Jayalalithaa on Monday, AIADMK interim chief Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) became the target for rival leader O Panneerselvam (OPS) and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) chief TTV Dhinakaran who blamed the EPS camp as ‘autocratic’ and ‘selfish,’ while VK Sasikala reiterated her unity mantra.

The EPS-led main opposition AIADMK, without naming anyone, dismissed OPS and Dhinakaran camps as ‘betrayers.’ The party vowed to win hands down the 2024 Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu and hit out at the ruling DMK for slapping ‘false cases’ against its leaders.

The anniversary occasion saw EPS, OPS, Jayalalithaa’s confidante Sasikala and her relative and AMMK general secretary Dhinakaran reiterating their respective political stance, all in the name of ‘Amma.’ EPS camp emerged as the choice, common target of Dhinakaran, Sasikala and OPS. They were expelled all from the AIADMK at different times. The leaders, one after the other, separately paid floral tributes to Jayalalithaa at her memorial on the Marina beach here.

Led by its interim general secretary Palaniswami, the AIADMK functionaries took a vow to form a ‘mega, winning alliance’ for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu and secure a ‘historic victory.’ In a veiled reference, they dubbed the OPS-led camp and others as betrayers.

The AIADMK has time and again ruled out any scope for rapproachment with OPS, Sasikala and Dhinakaran. Panneerselvam and his followers including former Minister R Vaithilingam pledged to end the ‘autocratic’ ways of EPS camp and work towards reintroducing the system of party workers themselves electing the party chief, an organisation poll mode introduced by party founder, the late M G Ramachandran.

Under the leadership of Sasikala, her supporters reiterated the unity slogan, seen as an apparent repeat-message to EPS and his loyalists to rally behind her to trounce rival forces (DMK) and win the Lok Sabha polls. The AMMK, under the stewardship of its general secretary Dhinakaran, vowed to defeat ‘betrayers,’ a reference to Palaniswami camp. Without naming EPS and his followers, Dhinakaran’s party blamed them for selfishness.

Through the AMMK, which is a democratic weapon, the AIADMK, which has lost its unique feature and identity due to ‘selfishness of a group’ would be retrieved, they said. Slamming the ruling DMK regime for registering ‘false cases’ against its leaders, the principal opposition party said it would snap the web of conspiracy. Mocking at Chief Minister M K Stalin as a ‘toy Chief Minister’ the AIADMK targeted the DMK for ‘not implementing’ its 2021 Assembly poll promises including getting the NEET annulled for the State, Rs 1,000 financial assistance to women family heads and other assurances.

The opposition party asked the State government to not stop welfare initiatives launched during its-led regime like the Amma chain of low cost eateries and vowed to dislodge the anti-people DMK regime.

In substance, the stand of the four camps are well-known and the anniversary turned out to be an occasion for them to reiterate it. Sasikala, Dhinakaran and Panneerselvam are all on the same side, though they are now separate, with Palaniswami camp continuing to be determined to not budge and give any space for them. Former Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo, J Jayalalithaa, fondly addressed as ‘Amma’ (mother) passed away on December 5, 2016.

Source: Press Trust of India

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