Chennai: With discord brewing within the party, the AIADMK has issued a diktat to its members restraining them from rushing to the media without authorisation from party high command.
The diktat comes close on the heels of party’s lawmaker from Madurai North Assembly constituency V. V. Rajan Chellappa triggering a controversy by pitching in for single leadership in the party (on Saturday), and on Sunday AIADMK’s Kunnam Assembly constituency member R.T. Ramachandran seeking a unified party leadership.
“The party members are united but there is a misunderstanding between the two leaders (Chief Minister and AIADMK joint coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy CM and coordinator O. Panneerselvam). The very fact that I have come forward to share this with media and not with the party leaders directly is proof enough that there’s no unity within,” Ramachandran told a Tamil news channel.
Shortly thereafter, the party high command issued a directive to party members prohibiting them from expressing their views in the media. “There is an appropriate forum to express the views in the party,” Mr Palaniswami and Mr Panneerselvam said.
“Party members expressing views on how the party should function through media channels is unwelcome. Our actions should not lead the opposition to take advantage. We should remember that there have been times when our enemies wanted to be united like us. These actions might sound frivolous now but the world judges a party based on such actions,” they said.
The three-page circular, further said, “Whoever wants to convey their thoughts and suggestions, for the party’s good, should remember that we have an executive committee and general body meetings to do so. Members should refrain from talking about the party’s administration, election results, or decisions made within the party in public.” Maintaining that he did not express the views to create trouble, Ramachandran said, “we are saying this for the benefit of the party. We need a leader who will dedicate his life for the party just like how MGR and Amma did.”
He also said it was ironical that Mr. Panneerselvam who had launched ‘Dharma Yudham’ had brought family politics by recommending his son, P. Raveendranath Kumar, for the (Theni) MP seat. Chellappa is the first party senior to openly bat for naming a single leader to the top party post of general secretary as was the practice during the era of late leaders M. G. Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa.
After her demise in December 2016, the party split and in August 2017, the two factions merged after ousting V.K. Sasikala and T.T.V. Dhinakaran. While Mr. Palaniswami remained Chief Minister and was made joint coordinator of the AIADMK, Mr. Panneerselvam who took over as party coordinator was also made deputy CM and house leader in Assembly.
Meanwhile, AIADMK office-bearers, MPs’ MLAs’ will meet in Chennai on June 12....