EPS Hits Out at PM for the First Time

Chennai: For the first time after breaking ties with the BJP in September last year, AIADMK general secretary, Edappadi K Palaniswami, hit out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, urging him to refrain from stoking communal passions as it did not augur well for India’s sovereignty.

Referring to Modi’s controversial campaign speech at Banswara in Rajasthan that had hurt the sentiments of the Muslims in the country, Palaniswami reminded the Prime Minister that India was a secular nation and that it was not fair on the part of those holding high offices to make such remarks for the sake of vote bank politics.

The kind of remarks that were made by Modi should be avoided by anyone in high office in interest of communal harmony and the welfare of the nation, he said, adding that such statements created fear in the minds of the Muslims.

Palaniswami, who was in Chennai after the elections, for which he had gone on a whirlwind tour of the State for 24 days, pulled up his party functionaries for not working hard to win the polls. Meeting district secretaries, along with some top leaders like D Jayakumar and Valarmathi, at the party headquarters, he expressed his displeasure over their performance in the campaign.

All the party district secretaries from Chennai and its adjoining districts were present at the meeting that discussed the campaign related activities undertaken by them for the April 19 elections and how the booth agents and grassroots workers had interacted with the voters.

Expressing dismay over the shoddy work allegedly done by the party functionaries, Palaniswami is reported to have told them they had lost their loyalty for the party and had been lethargic about their election work. Even the low voter turnout was discussed at the meeting.

More meetings with district secretaries of the other districts are expected to follow with a view to infusing enthusiasm into the functionaries, against whom the high command had received a plethora of complaints like lack of coordination and the loss of fighting spirit.

When media persons asked Jayakumar, who was also part of the meeting, about a letter written by V K Sasikala to some low level party functionaries stressing on the need for unity in the AIADMK, he said that Sasikala herself was a blank paper and there was not need to discuss about her letter.

Sasikala, who has moved into her new palatial mansion in Poes Garden recently, has revived her bid to bring together the fragmented groups of the AIADMK with a view to finding a place of eminence for her in the united party.

After casting her vote on April 19, she said that the election result would make those who committed errors in the party to realize their mistakes. That was seen as an indirect reference to Palaniswami with an anticipation that the party would fare badly in the elections and would hence rope in all those who were ousted by him from the party.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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