Chennai: There is a drop of about 40 lakh members in the ruling AIADMK, with a recent membership enrolment drive showing that the total count of about 1.5 crore during J Jayalalithaa’s tenure as party chief has now fallen to 1,10,41,600.
Chief Minister and party co-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami, however, said 50 lakh members -including new members and renewals- will be added in six months taking the membership count beyond 1.5 crore.
The AIADMK held its membership enrolment drive, aimed at renewal of membership and enrolling new members, between March 1 to May 31 this year—the first such exercise since the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016.
Those who had submitted their renewal/new membership applications during the stipulated period were given membership cards at the AIADMK headquarters Thursday. “In a short time, 1,10,41,600 members have been enrolled. In about five years time, when Puratchi Thalaivi Amma was alive 1.50 crore members were enrolled,” Palaniswami said.
He said “I am happy to tell you that in about six months time, 50 lakh more members will be enrolled,” taking the count beyond the 1.50 crore mark during Amma’s time. “The general public and the youth have so much love for the AIADMK,” he added.
OPS said the enrolment of 1.10 crore members in about “90 days is a historic achievement.”
Both EPS and OPS praised Jayalalithaa and her mentor and party founder M G Ramachandran for their “sacrifices” in building the AIADMK as a fortress.
Palaniswami said the party was fulfilling the goals of the two leaders to serve the people by overcoming the “plots hatched by conspirators,” an apparent reference to Sasikala and her TTV Dhinakaran.
AIADMK deputy coordinator K P Munusamy and senior minister D Jayakumar reiterated that Sasikala was no longer in the party following her removal last year.