Chennai: “Whatever happened, happened for the good. Whatever is happening, is happening for the good. Whatever will happen, will also happen for the good.”
By tweeting this oft-quoted passage from the Bhagavad Gita, Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam confused his party people and others, keenly waiting for the announcement to be made on Wednesday, while his supporters in his home district were expressing their keen desire to see him as the next Chief Minister.
All my decisions in the past had been taken with the interest of the people of Tamil Nadu and the cadre of AIADMK in mind. In future, too, they would be like that, started the tweet in Tamil, setting off speculations on the plans of Panneerselvam, who is camping in his hometown of Theni.
Later in the day, he drove down to inaugurate a mobile ration shop at Nagalapuram village in Theni district when a 100 feet wide flex board declaring him as the ‘Chief Minister of tomorrow’ welcomed him. It is said that Panneerselvam asked his supporters, who had displayed it, to remove it.
Many of Pannerselvam’s supporters had called on him in the past two days when he was staying in his farmhouse. Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar, who was in Madurai, also called on the Deputy Chief Minister for discussions.
On Monday morning Udhayakumar was also among the host of Ministers, who met the Chief Minister Edappai K Palaniswami at his chambers in the Secretariat. Perhaps he conveyed to the Chief Minister what Panneerselvam had decided to do in solving the imbroglio in the party.
Also K P Munusamy and R Vaithilingam, both deputy coordinators of the AIADMK who are actively involved in bringing about a rapprochement in the party, had a brief meeting the Chief Minister just before he left the office for the day.
While it is said that the party functionaries would go into a huddle on Tuesday and thrash out an amicable solution that would be announced on Wednesday, Pannerselvam’s tweet evoked mixed reactions from his followers with some of them directly telling him that he was not doing the right thing.
Some of Pannerselvam’s Twitter followers said the infighting ‘would only help Stalin.’ Another one urged him not to be selfish and take a decision that would ensure the continuation of the AIADMK rule. Then there were some who expressed support to Palaniswami and some others who spoke vehemently in favour of Panneerselvam.
There were replies that invoked caste identities and there were followers who wanted Panneerselvam to be firm in his demands and those who warned him against dividing the party and providing grist to the media to talk about.
Some made use of the opportunity to point out what they described as his old mistakes like the attack on the Jallikattu protestors at the Marina uprising and said that he never had people’s interest in mind at any time.
Another follower wanted him to address the livelihood problems faced by the people at the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder.