KC Palanisamy, former AIADMK spokesperson and one of the key leaders of the party from the Kongu belt, was officially reinducted in the party in the presence of Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in Chennai on Friday. The leader’s readmission to the party, shy of a year since his sacking, comes as no surprise as the ruling party is attempting to shore up its base ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
Speaking to TNM, Palanisamy, who had been lambasting the EPS-OPS combine for many months, explained that according to him, he had never left the party.
“I am happy to be back. I never left the party. I have been a member since 1972. I was groomed by (late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister) MG Ramachandran. I was made a Member of the Legislative Assembly by MGR and made a Member of Parliament by Amma (Jayalalithaa). From 1972, I have continued to be a party member. On March 16 last year, there was an announcement removing me from the party and now that issue has been resolved,” said Palanisamy, adding that his re-admission in the party ahead of elections would also boost the morale of the cadres. “This only means that the party is becoming stronger.”
Palanisamy was removed from the party in March last year after he urged the AIADMK to back a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government if it did not take a favourable stand on the Cauvery issue between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. A statement issued by the party's Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said that the former MP acted in a manner that brought disrepute to the party.
Following the death of former Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, Palanisamy was among the first leaders to oppose the election of her close aide VK Sasikala as party chief. He had also picked O Panneerselvam's camp during the infighting in the party. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's verdict on the centuries-old Cauvery river dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the AIADMK government initially seemed torn between supporting the Centre and gauging the angst of the people in the state, to set up the Cauvery Management Board as mandated by the apex court.
Palanisamy, in an interview to a media house, had lashed out at the Prime Minister. "If the Centre refuses to set up the CMB and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) as the Supreme Court ordered, the AIADMK may support the no-trust motion,” he had said.
Update: On Saturday, the DMK urged Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit to take action against the Chief Minister for using the state secretariat premises for 'political purposes' by re-admitting KC Palanisamy there, as opposed to at the party's headquarters. At a press conference on Saturday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami responded to the issue, calling it a false complaint. He also clarified that the basis of Palanisamy meeting them was as a former Member of Parliament and a common man, and that it was not party related. He mentioned that people joining the party would always do so at the party headquarters and no information regarding Palanisamy had been published in the party’s mouthpiece.