CHENNAI: Aiming to counter the growing voices against the dual leadership in the AIADMK, State Milk and Dairy Development Minister K. T. Rajenthra Bhalaji said both Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy CM O. Panneerselvam are working in unison to strengthen the party.
“There is no discord between them. Both the leaders are working together in a good natured manner to strengthen the party,” Mr Rajenthra Bhalaji said on Tuesday. Ahead of the party’s district secretaries and office bearers meeting here on Wednesday, the Minister asserted that the meet was ‘routine’ and nothing special or crucial as speculated.
His assertion comes in the wake of the party’s legislators: V. V. Rajan Chellappa and R. T. Ramachandran pitching for single leadership as was the practise during former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s era. Both had opposed the dual leadership of Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam who are the party’s joint coordinator and coordinator, respectively.
Revenue Minister R. B. Udayakumar too defended the dual leadership saying both the leaders took the party members along with them as one family to gain the confidence of the people. “Under their leadership the party had secured 38.2 per cent vote share in the April Lok Sabha elections, which was merely 3 per cent less than what was secured by the party when former CM Jayalalithaa had steered the AIADMK,” he said.
State Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar had already dismissed the views expressed by the two legislators as their own and had said party’s cadres would decide who their leader should be.
Another senior and State Law Minister C. Ve. Shanmugam had justified the present dual leadership in the party, and said their appointment as joint coordinator and coordinator respectively was ratified by a resolution unanimously passed at the AIADMK general council following the merger of the two factions in 2017....