Clearing the air: OPS tweets on alliance with BJP in TN, deletes it later

Chennai: A tweet by O Panneerselvam, leader of the Puratchi Thalaivi (Amma) faction of AIADMK, on a possible alliance with Bharatiya Janata Party after the declaration of civic polls kicked up a storm on Saturday.

“We will take a decision on alliance with BJP once local body elections are announced,” the tweet from Panneerselvam’s twitter handle @OfficeOfOPS said.

The tweet, however, was later removed with the faction clarifying that it will decide on the tie-up with ‘any party’ only after the local body poll dates were declared.

The development came a day after Panneerselvam called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi to discuss the issues concerning Tamil Nadu.

In an apparent damage control move, the media team of the faction clarified that the alliance could be with any party depending on the situation.

“We mean that only after the announcement of local body elections we will think about the alliance with any political party,” another tweet from the @OfficeOfOPS handle said in a clarification.

Former chief minister Panneerselvam had revolted against AIADMK chief V K Sasikala in February this year, alleging he was forced to make way for her to the state’s top post.

Later, he led a host of MPs, MLAs and senior leaders to form a faction of his own.

He had also fielded E Madusudanan for the now cancelled RK Nagar bypolls, supposed to be held on April 12, against AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran. BJP had nominated Gangai Amaren for the election.

The Election Commission had cancelled the bypoll over the use of money power to influence voters.

The proposed merger talks between the two factions led by Panneerselvam and Chief Minister Edapadi K Palaniswami, has remained a non-starter owing to the former’s insistence on the expulsion of Sasikala, Dhinakaran and their family members from AIADMK.