Panneerselvam tweeted that his faction would take a decision on alliance with BJP once local body elections are announced.
Former chief minister O Panneerselvam-led AIADMK faction on Saturday hinted at a possible alliance with the BJP after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Panneerselvam tweeted that his faction would take a decision on alliance with BJP once local body elections are announced. Even as the tweet created flutters in political circles, he clarified in another tweet: “We mean that only after the announcement of local body elections, we will think about the alliance with any political party.”
The former chief minister, who was on a statewide tour to meet AIADMK cadre to seek their opinion on the party’s future options, made a sudden visit to New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister after Electricity Minister P Thangamani, belonging to rival group led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, met PM Modi, and union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari.
A senior leader of the faction said there was every possibility of a tie-up with the BJP but it would be announced during the election. “Right now our focus is to consolidate and strengthen our support base,” he said. He added that the party would extend its support to the BJP’s candidate in the Presidential poll. The OPS faction has 10,608 votes considering values of 12 MLAS and 12 MPs on its side while the rival AIADMK factions have total votes of 47,844 votes with its 127 MLAs and 37 MPs. BJP will also gain the support of the AIADMK as it requires about 20,000 votes to ensure victory for its candidate.
On Saturday, Palaniswami also called upon those who left AIADMK to return to the parent body to ensure successful implementation of various schemes initiated by late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. The much-hyped reunion talks between the OPS and the EPS camp hit a road block with the former setting a pre-condition of the expulsion of Sasikala and her family from the party and a CBI probe into circumstances leading to Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation and treatment given to her.
Panneerselvam, who rebelled against AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala’s attempt to become chief minister, got the backing of Governor Vidyasagar Rao even though his camp had only a support of 12 MLAs.
Accusations were made against Panneerselvam that he was action at the behest of the BJP, which wants capitalise on the vacuum created by AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa’s demise.
The OPS camp finds itself in a spot with the growing impression that the EPS camp has managed to get the support of the Modi government at the Centre. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu chairing a review meeting at the state secretariat in the presence of the Chief Minister has surprised many. Palaniswami instructing its cabinet colleagues not to make any critical remarks against the Centre and participation of an AIADMK minister in an RSS function have added to the buzz of growing bonhomie between the ruling AIADMK and the BJP.