Salem (Tamil Nadu), June 8 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK Joint Coordinator K. Palaniswami on Saturday refuted the charge that the party fared badly in the Lok Sabha polls owing to dual leadership.
He also ruled out groupism in the party and played it down as the view of party legislater V.V. Rajan Chellappa who had voiced support for a single leader and reviving the post of general secretary.
Chellappa, representing the Madurai North Assembly constituency, told reporters in Madurai on Saturday that there should be a single charismatic leader to steer the party to victory in the local body and Assembly elections.
He said decision-making in the party has suffered due to dual leadership and also wondered why the nine legislators who won in the recent by-elections did not “pay homage” to late Chief Minister and General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa at her memorial.
The ruling AIADMK is headed by Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and Palaniswami. The two party posts were created as a part of patch-up between the two leaders and their respective factions.
The post of general secretary was frozen on the pretext that no one else should hold that position that was held by Jayalalithaa.
Speaking to reporters at Edappadi in Salem district, 350 kms from state capital Chennai, Palaniswami said the AIADMK is a party of cadres and it is the cadres who rule the party.
Queried about party lawmaker Chellappa’s statement that the party should be under single leadership, convene the General Council and elect a person as the party’s general secretary, Palaniswami brushed it off.
He said people read newspapers only if there is some news about the ruling party.
The AIADMK won only one seat in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha election out of the 20 it contested. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the party had won 37 of the 39 seats in the state.
When questioned about groupism in the party, Palaniswami said it is a wrong notion.
He said if there is groupism in the party then how was it that people who had joined the T.T.V. Dhinakaran-floated rebel Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) faction are coming back in large numbers.
On the issue of newly-elected legislators not paying “homage” to Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister cited construction work at the memorial site.
On his part, Panneerselvam when queried about Chellappa’s views said he could comment only after reading the latter’s interview.