AIADMK split ‘temporary’, party will reunite after RK Nagar bypoll: OPS

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The ex-Tamil Nadu CM said MLAs who have joined Sasikala faction will ‘listen to their conscience and take a good decision’.

Chennai: AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction leader and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said that the split in the party is ‘only temporary’.

In an interview to a news daily, Panneerselvam hinted that the two warring AIADMK factions may come together after the results of the RK Nagar bypoll are announced.

The former CM said that despite the ‘unusual circumstance’ of 122 AIADMK MLAs staying with Sasikala’s faction, they will ‘listen to their conscience and take a good decision’ after the RK Nagar election.

Panneerselvam also claimed that his only focus was on meeting the needs of the people of Tamil Nadu through the ‘AIADMK movement’ as conceived by former CMs MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. He also stated that he did not raise the issue of an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January.

The former CM also refuted DMK Working President MK Stalin’s allegations that he had links with sand mining baron Sekhar Reddy, who is now in prison.

The Election Commission had last month assigned separate party names and symbols to the two factions of the AIADMK, effectively splitting the party. While the Sasikala faction now led by her nephew TTV Dinakaran got the ‘hat’ symbol, the Panneerselvam faction received the ‘electric pole’ symbol. Subsequently, both factions accused each other of misrepresenting their respective symbols as the old ‘Two Leaves’ symbol of the AIADMK, during campaigning in late CM Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar constituency.

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