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'The pulse of Tamil Nadu is with OPS'

By A Ganesh Nadar
February 27, 2017 07:44 IST
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'More than 90 per cent of the party cadres are with OPS.'

G Ramachandran was personally appointed by then chief minister J Jayalalithaa as the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's IT wing secretary.

After her death, when her successor Ottakarathevar Panneerselvam sat at her samadhi on Marina beach on the night of February 8 before launching a full-scale rebellion against the coterie led by V K Sasikala, the first person to tweet about this was Ramachandran, then handling the AIADMK's official Twitter handle.

Ramachandran was the first person to be sacked from his party post by Sasikala, the AIADMK general secretary.

Ramachandran has since come out openly in OPS' support and continues to work for him online.

Ramachandran, left, spoke to Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar outside OPS' home in Chennai.

I joined the party when I was 18.

My father, a fan of Amma, was an MLA from 1991 to 1996. He passed away when I was 12 years old.

After getting an MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad, though I could have got a fat pay package in the private sector, I wanted to work only for Amma.

She was my role model and she always encouraged educated young people.

I worked in the party's information technology wing and became its secretary. We worked as a team there.

Unfortunately, we lost Amma.

When OPS was made chief minister I was happy as I felt that he could take Amma's legacy forward.

When OPS revolted that night I was the first person to come out in support of him.

The next morning I was sacked from the party.

The first thing we did was to share the phone numbers of all the MLAs so that the party cadres and people could talk to them and give them their views.

The MLAs were isolated and did not know what was going on outside.

The other thing we did was we put up a table at OPS' house where we gathered phone numbers and addresses of the people who came here.

Now all the people who came here are part of one big WhatsApp group. We are in touch all the time.

Then we had a missed call campaign where we asked people to give a missed call to one particular number to declare their support for OPS.

We got a lot of support through that.

We had also arranged for a digital display of what was happening inside OPS' home for the people who gathered here.

There were too many for all come in, so we thought it would be better if they knew what was going on inside without pushing their way in.

We have seen a huge surge in social media in support of OPS.

Youngsters, party cadres and common people have come out in support of him.

Overall, the pulse is that he is a simple man and he is one among us.

He is definitely accessible and he will solve our problems.

People appreciated how he handled the Vardah cyclone and the jallikattu crises. We are promoting that. Our Web site is ready. We will be launching it soon.

More than 90 per cent of the party cadres are with OPS. Only five to eight per cent must be there in that other faction.

This is very evident when I talk to people here and also when I go to my home town.

The pulse of Tamil Nadu is in OPS' support. We want to support OPS, they say.

They believe, and we believe, we share a belief that OPS can and will take Amma's legacy forward the way it should be done.

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A Ganesh Nadar / Rediff.com
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