Chennai: The AIADMK on Wednesday expelled party coordinator and state deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s younger brother O Raja from the party, accusing him of functioning against its principles, policies, aims and objectives. He had caused disrepute to the party, said an announcement jointly signed by OPS in his capacity as the AIADMK coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami as the party’ joint-coordinator.
The expulsion of Raja came just hours after he was declared elected as chairman of the district milk producers’ union (Aavin) at Theni. The announcement sent shock waves down the ruling party even though rumours had been doing the rounds for quite some time that OPS and brother Raja have serious differences, possibly over the latter being upset over OPS promoting his son.
It was also said that Raja was veering towards TTV Dhinakaran because of OPS promoting his son in the party.
But for the record, the AIADMK maintained that Raja deserved the axe and has been removed from all the party positions as he had gone against party discipline. None in the party should henceforth keep in touch with him, said the OPS-EPS statement.
“This shows the AIADMK is a party of high discipline. This is a welcome thing as action has been taken (by OPS) despite Raja being his younger brother and this will be a lesson for others too”, said AIADMK senior D Jayakumar at a media interaction. He declined to elaborate on what acts of indiscipline Raja had indulged in to get the axe.
Interestingly, several AIADMK functionaries — and that included minister Sellur K Raju — had participated in the celebration earlier in the day to greet Raja after he was declared elected as chairman of the district Aavin union. Sources said Raja got the marching orders because he became the chairman of the Aavin union in home district Theni ignoring annan OPS’ diktat that he should not contest.
While critics allege that OPS was promoting his son over the head and shoulders of brother Raja some others insist that the party could brook no more delay in ‘weeding out’ undisciplined Raja, who had been even involved in some serious criminal cases.