All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam interim general secretary K Palaniswami on Thursday expelled O Panneerselvam's sons, and 16 other supporters of the ousted leader, from the party, prompting a retaliatory action from the rival camp leader who sacked 22 functionaries from the other faction in the capacity of AIADMK 'coordinator.'
Following EPS' action, Panneerselvam's camp demanded that the government intervene to ensure that the official residence of Palaniswami is not used for political purposes.
Raveendranath, AIADMK's Lok Sabha MP from Theni constituency, and Jeyapradeep, both of whom are sons of OPS and a former Minister, Vellamandi N Natarajan were expelled.
Natarajan is the Tiruchirappalli-based party strongman who sided with Panneerselvam.
OPS's loyalist in his home district of Theni, SPM Syed Khan, a former MP and also the Theni district secretary, was ousted from the party.
In a party release, Palaniswami, also known as EPS, said the move is a disciplinary action and all the 18 of them have acted against party interests, principles and brought disrepute to the organisation.
With the move, almost all of the key functionaries who were vocal in their support to Pannerselvam have been shown the door.
Kovai Selvaraj, a former MLA, and Marudhu Alaguraj, both spokespersons of the AIADMK, were eased out of the party.
Alaguraj is also the editor of party organ 'Namadhu Amma' and his name appeared as editor even in the July 14 edition of the daily.
Former MLA from Chennai VNP Venkatraman (Trade wing secretary), Asokan, Kanyakumari east party district secretary, Kolathur D Krishnamurthy, an office-bearer of MGR youth wing, were relieved from their posts and the party membership.
Former legislator belonging to neighbouring Puducherry Om Shakthi Sekar and ex-MP R Gopalakrishnan were among others who were expelled from the party's primary membership.
On July 11, the AIADMK general council meeting expelled Panneerselvam and 3 of his supporters including Thanjavur district based R Vaithilingam from the party.
In a tit-for-tat action, Panneerselvam announced the 'expulsion' of 22 prominent leaders from the Palaniswami camp. Among the names mentioned in the statement issued by Panneerselvam were that of Palaniswami and K P Munusamy, both of whom OPS had expelled on July 11.
Former minister Munusamy was once a close aide of OPS.
Ex-ministers and senior leaders Dindigul C Srinivasan, K A Sengkottaiyan, D Jayakumar, C Ve Shanmugam and S P Velumani were among those who were 'expelled' by Panneerselvam on Thursday for "acting against the interests and policies of the party and bringing disrepute to it."
OPS announced expelling the 22 functionaries in a party statement claiming himself to be the coordinator, a post he was heading prior to the June 23 GC meet of the party.
The AIADMK general council, the party's highest decision-making body, had on Monday elected EPS as its interim general secretary and expelled Panneerselvam and his supporters.
Meanwhile, just after he was expelled, Panneerslevam supporter Selvaraj wrote to the state chief secretary to not allow political meetings in the official bungalow allotted in Chennai to Palaniswami, in his capacity as Leader of the Opposition.
While the bungalow should be used as per law for only residential purpose, Palaniswami convened a meeting of AIADMK legislators at his official residence on July 17, he said.
In case of violation, action should be taken to initiate eviction proceedings according to law, he added.
JCD Prabhakar, a well-known Panneerselvam loyalist who was days ago expelled from the party, said that time would one day teach a fitting lesson to Palaniswami.