Another AIADMK MLA joins the unique leader's choir to lead the party

CHENNAI: In another indication that all is not well in the AIADMK ruling, an MLA party on Sunday backed its veteran VV Rajan Chellappa, based in Madurai, by a single leader to lead the outfit and claimed that anyone trying to split the outfit for the family would be seen as another Sasikala. My appeal is for unitary leadership and should be strong and selfless, said R T Ramachandran, a senior AIADMK official representing the assembly segment of Kunnam, in a video clip that was made available to the media.

Although Ramachandran was not available for comment, an AIADMK spokesperson said that such opinions should be issued only in the forums of the appropriate parties.

Expressing opinions openly only provides fodder for the opposition, he said.

The MLA said that the founder of the party M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa they were disinterested and treated only the party as their family and avoided their respective families while they looked after and guarded the attire.

Whoever tries to threaten or divide the party for his family will be seen as another Sasikala by the AIADMK workers, said the Kunnam lawmaker.

After Jayalalithaa's death in 2016, her close aide V K Sasikala became the party's interim chief. Eventually, she and her family members were eased out of the party to not allow the dominance of one family, as Panneerselvam and Palaniswami came together.

It is perceived that his remark was made against Deputy Prime Minister O Panneerselvam.

Panneerselvam's son, P Raveendranath Kumar, received a ticket to the party from Lok Sabha, while the head of government, K Palaniswami, was to play against the DMK for perpetuating the family government.

However, Rajan Chellappa's views on Saturday are perceived as hitting for Panneerselvam.

R T Ramachandran also said that leaders should understand such aspects and dedicate themselves to the party, while adding that attempts to double the party for the sake of the family caused anguish to party officials like him.

The AIADMK spokesman said: Party workers can express their grievances only to the council, which is the decision-making body. When making these points of view public, one should not provide fodder for the Opposition.