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Bickering continues in AIADMK over CM face for 2021 polls

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
September 30, 2020 23:51 IST
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A senior Tamil Nadu minister on Wednesday openly rooted for chief minister K Palaniswami to be projected as the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's face for the 2021 assembly election while his Cabinet colleagues sought to downplay differences in the party over the leadership issue.

IMAGE: Supporters wear maks of AIADMK coordinator and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam outside party office during executive committee meeting at party office in Chennai. Photograph: ANI Photo

AIADMK coordinator and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, who has also staked his claim for being the chief ministerial candidate of the party in the polls next year, for the second consecutive day held discussions with party leaders at his residence in Chennai.

Forest Minister 'Dindigul' C Sreenivasan said that there is "no contest or race" in the party on who should be the chief ministerial candidate for the election.

"The next government will also be that of the AIADMK and chief minister will be Palaniswami," Sreenivasan , a party veteran, told reporters at Dindigul.

The senior minister, batting for Palaniswami assumes significance, since the party had said it would announce the chief ministerial candidate on October 7 after the incumbent and Panneerselvam crossed swords over the issue at the party's executive committee meeting on Monday.

Sreenivasn, however, added a formal declaration shall be made on October 7 as announced earlier.


Adding to speculations of intensifying quarrel, the deputy chief minister's name did not appear in a government invitation for a project launch in Chennai by Palaniswami, who is the joint co-ordinator of the party.

Senior AIADMK leader and fisheries minister D Jayakumar said "no motives should be attributed just because the deputy chief minister's name did not appear in the invitation," and ruled out differences saying there is "no problem."

After the deliberations at his residence, Panneerselvam, also chairman of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, presided over a meeting of the body.

Former minister Natham R Viswanathan, party deputy coordinator K P Munusamy and former MP P H Manoj Pandian were among those who held parleys with Panneerselvam on Wednesday.

Notably, in the solid waste management project launch, a voice over, announcing the arrival of Palaniswami, showered encomiums and hailed the Chief Minister as the "light of the AIADMK."

Revenue minister R B Udhayakumar, law minister C Ve Shanmugam, and handlooms and textiles minister O S Manian sought to downplay differences over the leadership issue.

Udhayakumar said both Panneerselvam and Palaniswami had a very good understanding and were working like brothers.

Exchange of views was a healthy aspect and it was only aimed at the party's growth, he said answering a question on claims and counter claims at the September 28 Executive Committee meeting of the party over the issue of Chief Ministerial candidate for the assembly elections.

At Villupuram, law minister C Ve Shanmugam said Palaniswami and Panneerselvam would continue to stand together and the party shall go on the path of unity and retain power.

Manian too said there was absolutely no rift in the party over the leadership issue.

After the stormy executive committee meeting, where the issue of leadership for the polls wasdiscussed, Munsamy had announced that Panneerselvam and Palaniswami would announce on October 7 the chief ministerial candidate.

The meeting saw heated exchanges between Panneerselvam and Palaniswami with both reportedly making competing claims -- backed by past events in the party -- to stake claim for being the AIADMK's chief ministerial nominee next year.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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