Chennai, June 21 (BPNS)
The principal opposition party of Tamil Nadu, AIADMK which has been on the sidelines after losing power in the 2021 assembly elections, followed by ego clashes leading to the exit of powerful Thevar leader and former Chief Minister, O. Panneerselvam (OPS) has now sounded the poll bugle for the 2024 general elections.
The party conducted a statewide protest on Wednesday demanding the removal of arrested minister Senthil Balaji from the MK Stalin cabinet. It may be noted that the minister is continuing in the cabinet even after being remanded in judicial custody, but devoid of portfolios.
AIADMK general secretary and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) inaugurated the protest at his home town in Salem. Party state organizing secretary and former minister, D. Jayakumar inaugurated the protest in Chennai.
The AIADMK leaders came out heavily against the falling law and order situation in the state and highest corruption taking place in the state. The party leaders reminded Chief Minister Stalin that his father Karunanidhi had removed tainted ministers from the cabinet and called upon him to atleast emulate his father.
Senior AIADMK leaders and former ministers, SP Velumani, KA Sengottayian, CVe Shanmugham, P. Thangamani also participated in their respective district headquarters and charged against the DMK government in the state.
It may be recalled that a delegation of AIADMK leaders CVe Shanmugham, D. Jayakumar, C. Vijayabhaskar and P. Benjamin had met the Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi on June 15 and handed over a memorandum from Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) who is also the leader of Opposition in state legislative assembly. The memorandum urged the Governor to remove Senthil Balaji from cabinet.
However even after the Governor insisted on the removal of Senthil Balaji from the cabinet, the Tamil Nadu government did not relent. The Chief Minister Stalin cited health reasons of Senthil Balaji and allocated his electricity portfolio to state industries minister, Thangam Thenarasu and the Prohibition and Excise portfolios to Muthuswamy who is also holding charge of Housing and Urban Development ministry.
Sources in the AIADMK told IANS that the party has conducted a protest across the state to revitalize its cadres and to make the party a fighting force in the run upto the elections. It may be recalled that BPNS had reported on the AIADMK appointing organisers in all 234 assembly constituencies before the elections to directly connect with the people at the grass root levels.
The arrest of Senthil Balaji, and the shifting of high-profile Finance minister, PTR Thiagarajan from Finance to IT has given an impression that all was not going well for Stalin and his government. AIADMK has pounced upon that and is planning a major offensive against the Stalin government across the state in the days to come.