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OPS faction expects Sasikala to support them to gain control of AIADMK

- June 22, 2022

Chennai, June 22 (BPNS)

The O. Panneerselvam(OPS) faction of the AIADMK which is in the corner after most of the party district secretaries showing their allegiance to the Edappadi K. Palaniswami group, is trying to play the Thevar card and get the support of former interim general secretary of the party, V.K. Sasikala.

While Sasikala is out of the party and several second-rung leaders have come out in the opening against her reinduction into the party fold, she has clout among many of the cadres.

The Panneerselvam faction is trying to rake up the Thevar card and the strength the community wields in South Tamil Nadu. A subtle campaign has already commenced in south Tamil Nadu, that the only Thevar face in the upper echelons of power in the AIADMK, is being systematically disarmed and shunted to a corner in the party.

It is to be noted that both Sasikala and Panneerselvam are from the Thevar community which has a major say in the power politics of Tamil Nadu. South Tamil Nadu area has always been a fiefdom of the AIADMK but in the recent Urban local body elections, the party fared poorly in many parts of South Tamil Nadu including in the home district of O. Panneerselvam, Theni.

The OPS faction is hoping that Sasikala may make some smart moves among the Thevar community and put pressure on the Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) faction to not press ahead single power centre in AIADMK in the general and executive council of the party to be held on Thursday, June 23.

Most of the party district secretaries and former ministers have extended support to the Edappadi K. Palaniswami and their demand is that the party has gone down due to the present system of dual leadership and instead if a single leader is projected the party can come out in flying colours. This suggestion is not acceptable to the OPS faction but with no support coming from the party district-level leaders, the former Chief Minister is on a sticky wicket and has approached the V.K. Sasikala to throw her weight for him.

Dr. R. Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think tank based out of Madurai, and a political analyst while speaking to BPNS said, “The condition of O. Panneerselvam is now pathetic and if he does not do a surgical move, he will be out of the reckoning. Sasikala has a connect among the grass-root cadre as well as in the powerful Thevar community to which both she and OPS belongs. However, it has to be seen whether the last-minute move would fetch any positive results for O. Panneerselvam to save his face.”

The OPS faction had tried its best to scuttle the general council meeting to be held on Thursday but the dominant faction led by Edappadi K. Palaniswami is insisting that the meeting is held on June 23rd itself and move ahead with a single leadership.