Team OPS too grants nod to BJP’s Prez candidate​

The decision was taken at a consultative meeting chaired by Pannerselvam with senior colleagues this morning.

Published: 22nd June 2017 11:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2017 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind.| Shekhar Yadav

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: A day after their rivals announced support for the NDA’s presidential candidate, Ram Nath Kovind, the rebel faction of the AIADMK followed suit and declared the support of its MLA and MPs on Thursday.

BJP president Amit Shah reached to him for soliciting support for Kovind, said rebel leader and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, adding that the senior functionaries discussed the matter at a meeting at his residence on Thursday morning.

“The opinions of elected members were sought, and we have unanimously decided to extend support to Ram Nath Kovind,” Panneerselvam announced. The two-time MP, who was the Governor of Bihar when he was announced as the NDA’s presidential nominee, would be a good administrator, Panneerselvam added.

This was much expected after Panneerselvam gravitated towards the Centre for support when he rose in revolt against general secretary VK Sasikala. However, the bigger faction led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami too, moved closer to the Centre, and announced its support to the BJP candidate on Wednesday.

It remains to be seen, however, what the disgruntled MLAs close to deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran would do. The faction has been insisting that Sasikala, general secretary of the party, would decide whom to support though Palaniswami disregarded this and announced it on his own. Meanwhile, a few of the MLAs from the faction met Dhinakaran  at his residence.

N Thalavai Sundaram, Tamil Nadu government special representative at Delhi, V Senthil Balaji and actor S Karunas were among them. Karunas told mediapersons, “We will accept the decision taken by party general secretary VK Sasikala as far as presidential elections are concerned.”

Both Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam reached Delhi on Thursday night. They will be present when BJP candidate for presidential elections Ram Nath Kovind files his nomination on Friday.

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