Chennai, May 22 (BPNS)
AIADMK deposed coordinator and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu , O. Panneerselvam (OPS) is travelling extensively in South Tamil Nadu. The former Chief Minister who belongs to the powerful Thevar community is trying to play up his caste card in the process of solidifying himself in the area.
It may be noted that OPS and his close associates were expelled from AIADMK during the party general council meeting held in July 2022 at Chennai.
Though OPS doesn’t have the strength or support of most of the elected legislators, he is trying to coordinate with the powerful Thevar community leadership to get the community support in South Tamil Nadu.
The Thevar community has been traditionally supporting the AIADMK and the party has gained tremendously from the community bastions of South Tamil Nadu. The expelled former interim general secretary of the party , VK Sasikala also belong to the Thevar community and recently her nephew and general secretary of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMk) TTV Dhinakaran had met OPS.
Sources close to OPS told BPNS that the former Chief Minister is planning to bargain with the AIADMK leadership in the run up to the 2024 general elections. In five to six Lok Sabha seats of South Tamil Nadu, the Thevar community has a major say and OPS is planning to capitalise on this.
The AIADMK leadership led by Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) , has already written to the Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla that the Theni MP was not part of AIADMK. It is to be noted that Theni MP, O.Raveendranath is the son of O. Panneerselvam (OPS). Theni is the only seat that AIADMK won in the 2019 general elections from Tamil Nadu.
With the political parties gearing up for the Lok Sabha polls , the moves of OPS is keenly watched in Tamil politics and it has to be seen whether a mediation will take place between OPS and EPS at the behest of the BJP in Tamil Nadu.