CHENNAI: AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam on Wednesday cleared the air asserting that the dual leadership for the party would continue and no one can capture the party.
Panneerselvam said this responding to a question on recent assertions of VK Sasikala about re-entering politics and leading the party. So far, Panneerselvam had kept quiet on Sasikala and ahead of Assembly elections, he even made statements leaning towards Sasikala.
"Myself and Palaniswami have been leading the party as coordinator and joint coordinator for the past four and half years -- i.e, we have ensured a democratic system in the party wherein a particular family or an individual cannot dominate the party affairs. The objective for which the AIADMK was launched has been fulfilled now. No one can capture the AIADMK even if they attempt. This state of affairs will continue. The AIADMK cadres are discharging their duties happily now,” affirmed Panneerselvam when asked about Sasikala's interactions with AIADMK functionaries telling them that she would be leading the party soon.
On the view that the general council of the AIADMK, which has supreme powers, can elect VK Sasikala as the general secretary of the party, Panneerselvam quipped: "You admit that the general council is the supreme body of the party. The very same general council has removed her from that post."
Regarding the confidence of Sasikala that there is a possibility for her re-election as the general secretary since the AIADMK cadres are behind her, Panneerselvam said: "I can't respond to your dreams."
Significantly, Panneerselvam made this key statement a day after his Delhi visit. Many speculations are doing the rounds about what transpired during the AIADMK leaders’ meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, Panneerselvam’s 40-minute-long press meet at Theni was full of confidence and the regained enthusiasm in his answers was very obvious.
Panneerselvam’s assertion that the dual leadership for the AIADMK would continue assumes significance as it conveyed that he is in agreement with EPS on the Sasikala issue; also, his statement became important as the AIADMK is gearing up to face the crucial organisational elections very soon.
Political commentator Raveenthran Thurasamy is of the view that Panneerselvam has made this statement after reading the mindset of the Prime Minister during his meeting at New Delhi. “Both Panneerslevam and Palaniswami have categorically clarified that they don’t want Sasikala’s leadership forever. With the 'two leaves' symbol, both of them have garnered 33% votes whereas Sasikala has nothing as of now. Had she proved her strength in the just-concluded Assembly elections, she would have been a force now. She failed to do that.”