CHENNAI: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who is also joint coordinator of the AIADMK, on Thursday said the total number of members of the party had reached 1.5 crore during the times of the late leader, J Jayalalithaa, and it would exceed 1.5 crore within six months.
Speaking after launching the distribution of new membership cards to the cadre and functionaries at the party headquarters here, Palaniswami recalled how late leaders MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa strove hard for the growth of the party over many years. Stating that in a very short span, the number of membership forms received had crossed 1.1 crore and this will cross 1.5 crore within 6 months.
Asked what happened to the 40 lakh members since only 1.10 crore members out of the 1.50 crore had submitted their renewal forms, Panneerselvam said, “During the time of Jayalalithaa as general secretary of the party, 1.50 crore members were enrolled. This included 31 lakh members of youth brigade and Jayalalithaa Peravai. The members of youth brigade have come of age and as such, when membership drive for youth brigade would be launched soon, the total number of party members would exceed two crore.”
Panneerselvam said the distribution of new membership cards to 60 lakh members, who have submitted forms between March 1 and May 31, had started. So far, 1,10,41,600 members have registered themselves as members of the party in a short span of 90 days. This number includes those who renewed their membership as well as those who joined the party afresh.
Asked about the number of cadre expelled for anti-party activities, Palaniswami said: “Only a miniscule number of functionaries were expelled from party for siding with Dhinakaran.”
Earlier, Panneerselvam gave the new membership card to Palaniswami and the latter, in turn, handed over the new card to the former.