Chennai: AIADMK senior and State Law Minister C. Ve. Shanmugam has defended the present two-fold leadership in the party under Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy CM O. Panneerselvam, 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.
Lashing out at party legislators: V. V. Rajan Chellappa and R. T. Ramachandran for demanding single leadership in the party, he said even the party's revolutionary leader MGR (party founder M. G. Ramachandran) did not name his successor. “Even Amma (former CM J. Jayalalithaa) did not name her successor till her end approached. The AIADMK is not a party that practised succession (family) politics like the DMK but is cadre based and run respecting the feelings of the party members,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at Villpuram near here on Sunday, Mr. Shanmugam said, both the party and the government are being run well and that the present leadership arrangement holds well. “The AIADMK is not like Sankara mutt or the DMK to name a successor. Ours is a party that respected the feelings of the cadres,” he added. Both Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam had compromised for the sake of the party and merged their factions to retrieve the Two Leaves symbol besides continue Amma's rule, he added.
On the party's poll debacle, he said it was because of the misinformation campaign that the BJP worked against the interests of Tamil Nadu, that was run by the opposition DMK and the media for about two years, which had lead to the combine's defeat in the polls. “The BJP could have deftly handled the opposition charges. When there has been Modi wave across the country, it was only in Tamil Nadu that the party could not capitalise on Mr. Modi. Also, we lost the votes of the minorities,” the Minister said about the reasons for defeat.
Meanwhile, refusing to be drawn into any controversy on the internal affairs of the AIADMK, ally and BJP state president Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan said it would be good if AIADMK avoided confusion in such matters. “I have nothing to say on it. The State government should continue and be stable. Only then, the Centre's welfare initiatives would reach the people,” she said....