A day after the Madras high court ruled against AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami declaring the July 11 council meeting as legally invalid, the party coordinator O Panneerselvam called all AIADMK functionaries to work together again. However, Palaniswami rejected the call for unity and said he was only reflecting the views of the people.
AIADMK’s coordinator O Panneerselvam, before leaving for his native place Theni, met mediapersons in Chennai on Thursday (August 18) morning. Speaking to reporters, he said that he wanted to bury the bitter past and move on in the overall interest of the party.
“Let bygones be bygones. We should all forget the bitter past and move ahead in the interest of the party. My beloved brother Edappadi K Palaniswami and I were taking the party in the right direction and I wish to work together again,” he said.
Panneerselvam also urged sidelined leaders like VK Sasikala and AMMK party general secretary TTV Dhinakaran to return to the AIADMK. “All those who were working for the party from the time of MGR, including VK Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran should come together for the sake of the party,” he said.
Hours after O Panneerselvam called for a rapprochement, joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami summarily rejected the call and said that they would fight the case legally.
Palaniswami, who addressed the media outside his residence, said, “He calls for unity every now and then. He wants to be in power, his family wants to be in power, so he calls for unity every time. But, how can I join him, when he has worked against the party and violated the party bylaw?”
The AIADMK leader also charged O Panneerselvam of constantly creating trouble and friction inside the party, which led to the party’s defeat in the 2021 Assembly election.
Palaniswami said, “He keeps creating problems inside the party. He does not cooperate at all. For instance, during the 2021 assembly election, everybody in the party, except for him, accepted me as the Chief Minister candidate. He accepted it only after the news appeared in the papers. It is because of him our party lost the election by just a 3 per cent vote margin.”
He also said that they have appealed against the recent Madras high court order and asked to maintain the status quo as of June 23.
The party’s general council meeting was held on June 23, in which, the party’s general council rejected all the resolutions until a decision was taken on the unitary leadership in the party. O Panneerselvam, who was against the unitary leadership walked out of the general council meeting and subsequently, Edappadi K Palaniswami’s faction convened a general council meeting on July 11, stating that the posts of coordinator and joint coordinator ceased to exist, as the general council did not approve of the posts and the appointments.