Will welcome back MLAs who ‘lost their way’: AIADMK Dy Gen Secy woos OPS

Chennai: AIADMK Deputy General Secretary TT V Dinakaran today hinted at a rapprochement with expelled leader O Panneerselvam, saying the party would “accept with motherly affection” anybody who had gone out of the “parent organisation” and wanted to return.

Addressing reporters after formally taking over, he also fended off criticism that he was elevated “suddenly”, saying he had been brought into the party by the late Chief Minster J Jayalalithaa in the early days itself and that he had been given various party posts and even made an MP by her.

Asked about Panneerselvam’s plans to conduct state-wide campaign against the present AIADMK leadership, Dinakaran said the party had faced “betrayals” in the past too, but had successfully overcome them.

However, referring to the defection of MLAs and MPs to the Panneerselvam camp, he said that some had “lost their way and moved away from the mother movement.”

“We have the confidence that anybody who had left the mother movement will return to our fold,” Dinakaran said.

Asked if Panneerselvam would also be allowed to return, he said “the party will receive with motherly affection and accept anybody who had left the parent organisation.”

His comments come in the wake of Panneerselvam’s expulsion by AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala following his revolt against her in the wake of her election as AIADMK Legislature Party leader on February 5.

Panneerselvam, who had quit as Chief Minister then, had revolted against her, alleging he was forced to step down to make way for her.

Sasikala was convicted by the Supreme Court in an assets case on February 14 and is lodged in the central jail at Parapana Agrahara near Bengaluru.

To a question on who was his party’s main rival – DMK leader M K Stalin or Panneerselvam, Dinakaran insisted it was DMK as AIADMK had been founded by the late M G Ramachandran against that very party and its chief M Karunandihi.

“You must have seen in the Assembly also. They tried to use Panneerselvam to topple the government but failed. You are seeing the daily dramas being enacted by Stalin. AIADMK was founded against DMK and they are our main rival,” he said.

He said Stalin was “dejected” that he could not “topple” the AIADMK government and was therefore doing things like staging a hunger strike or flying to Delhi to meet President Pranab Mukherjee.

Stalin had earlier left for Delhi to apprise the President on the incidents that unfolded during the February 18 floor test won by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, amidst en masse eviction of DMK.