After poll debacle, ex-CM Panneerselvam calls for unity, but AIADMK rejects his call

AIADMK leader and former state Minister K P Munusamy, however, dismissed the appeal as nothing but an attempt to create confusion.
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. (File photo | EPS)

CHENNAI: Former chief minister and ousted AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam on Thursday renewed his call to the AIADMK factions to reunite to strengthen the party, even as the AIADMK rejected his call saying he was only creating confusion.

Following his defeat in the Lok Sabha election from Ramanathapuram and with the AIADMK piloted by former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami failing to secure even a single seat out of 39 constituencies in the state, Panneerselvam sought for the retrieval of the AIADMK by preparing to make sacrifices.

He has been making such an appeal since the party's reins went into the hands of Palaniswami.

AIADMK leader and former state Minister K P Munusamy, however, dismissed the appeal as nothing but an attempt to create confusion.

"Panneerselvam has no right to talk about the party's unity. He joined hands with the BJP to freeze the Two Leaves symbol of the AIADMK," Munusamy told reporters responding to Panneerselvam's appeal.

"It is easy to break a stick but difficult to break sticks in a bundle. This is a call to retrieve the AIADMK founded by late chief minister M G Ramachandran and nurtured by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, for unity. Consoling cadres and making them get accustomed to defeat is a sin," Panneerselvam said in his statement.

Though he had aligned with the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, he chose to contest as an independent on the jackfruit symbol from Ramanathapuram constituency to prove his strength but failed to win.

Quoting a popular song from MGR's film that goes "tomorrow is ours", he said the message in the song was a remedy.

"We will see 1.5 crore cadres unite to make our victory historic tomorrow. We should be ready to make sacrifices to retrieve the party that reached the top under late Jayalalithaa's leadership and the government she handed over through unity," Panneerselvam, who had launched the AIADMK Workers' Rights Retrieval Committee, said.

His plea follows a similar appeal by V K Sasikala, whom Panneerselvam along with AIADMK General Secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami had expelled from the party.

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