CHENNAI: Despite sounding the bugle outside, the AIADMK breakaway group led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, with 12 legislators, has been keeping a stoic silence in the Assembly during the current session.
The AIADMK-PTA took shape after a bunch of veteran leaders with moorings in MGR’s period rallied round Panneerselvam after he raised a banner of revolt on February 7 challenging the leadership of V K Sasikala. The party’s top leaders recently decided to disband a committee constituted to strike out a formula for merger, that remained a non-starter, and take on the Edappadi K Palaniswami-led government vigorously over public issues.
Panneerselvam, at a meeting of his party office-bearers of Tiruvallur district at Thiruverkadu recently, made the war cry that his legislators would raise what the government had promised and what it had failed to do, in the Assembly.
However, legislators, including Panneerselvam himself, have rarely uttered a word against the government in the House ever since the current session began on June 14.
In sharp contrast to what the top guns of AIADMK-PTA blare in public, the legislators seem to maintain cordial ties and bonhomie with their rivals in the House. Panneerselvam himself was seen coming to the rescue of Minister for Food R Kamaraj when he was cornered by the Opposition over the shortage of supplies in PDS supplies early in the year.
When asked, Ma Foi K Pandiarajan, a prominent face in the rebel camp, said he had already raised the issue of choice of site for AIIMS.
“I have already voiced my concern about the proposed choice of Sengipatti in Thanjavur district for AIIMS. Even the main Opposition party did not raise the issue,” he claimed.
The former Minister for School Education said “We will discuss the issues that bother the public and will bring them to notice of the House in the days to come.”
The ‘Dharma Yudham’, according to the rebels, is to get justice in the matter relating to the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa by pressing for a probe by a Central agency and cleansing the party of Sasikala family. But it seems to be a limited version as the rebel leaders have not uttered a single word on the demand for probe on Jayalalithaa’s death in the Assembly so far.