O Panneerselvan, AIADMK, Lok Sabha elections, Karnataka assembly polls
AIADMK O Panneerselvan faction plans to organise a rally in Tiruchirappalli on July 24. Pic: PTI

AIADMK Panneerselvan faction gears up to contest in LS, Karnataka polls

O Panneerselvan, the ousted coordinator of the AIADMK, has now announced that his party will contest the Lok Sabha election next year and the upcoming Karnataka polls.

The embattled AIADMK leader who has been waging a legal battle to establish his hold over the party as its coordinator, announced on Friday (April 7) that his party would contest the Lok Sabha election next year. On his party’s position in the Karnataka Assembly elections, the former coordinator said he would put up candidates wherever “the chances for victory are high.”

His supporter V Pugazhendhi called on BJP leader B S Yediyurappa in Bengaluru and said his party expressed a desire to contest in the May Assembly elections in Karnataka as well.

“Talks are on with the BJP on firming up an alliance, and we will contest the Lok Sabha election,” Panneerselvam announced. The former chief minister told reporters in Chennai that he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to the city on Saturday, “if possible”.

After calling on Yediyurappa earlier in the day, Pugazhendhi said that Panneerselvam told them to hold consultations with Yediyurappa on contesting from the Tamil-dominated areas in Karnataka.

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“We conveyed this to the BJP leader with whom we cherish a fond relationship. I hope the BJP will confer and inform us,” Pugazhendhi said after calling on Yediyurappa earlier in the day.

Responding to a question, he said the general secretary election in the Edappadi K Palaniswami faction had created confusion among the cadres.

In Chennai, party senior Panruti S Ramachandran claimed that the AIADMK was caught in a maya (illusion) projected by Palaniswami and hence many were unable to see the reality. “This maya will soon disappear if we approach the people’s court and face the 2024 Lok Sabha election,” he said.

Meanwhile, contending that the July 11 general council convened by the rival faction was “illegal”, as it did not have the approval of the party coordinator, Panneerselvam said he had hoped to get respite through the court verdict. “We are prepared to take our case to the people’s court. We have planned to organise a rally in Tiruchirappalli on July 24 and thereafter, I would tour the districts,” Panneerselvam said.

“The meeting will demonstrate on whose side lies the power of Puratchi Thalaivar (MGR), Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (Jayalalithaa) and workers,” he observed.

The Madras high court recently rejected the pleas of Panneerselvam and his aides against the general council resolutions which, among other decisions, had expelled them. The verdict paved the way for Palaniswami, another former chief minister, to become the party’s general secretary and the numero uno of the party.

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