Miffed with AIADMK leadership, Maitreyan recalls Jayalalithaa used to trust him

The AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP has been left out of three coordination committees announced by the ruling party ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections.
Miffed with AIADMK leadership, Maitreyan recalls Jayalalithaa used to trust him
Miffed with AIADMK leadership, Maitreyan recalls Jayalalithaa used to trust him
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AIADMK Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament V Maitreyan took to Facebook on Monday to express disappointment over his exclusion in pre-poll committees announced by the ruling party. Maithreyan, who was close to late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and was the AIADMK's voice in New Delhi for many years, pointed out that he had enjoyed Jayalalithaa's confidence.

“The Lok Sabha General Elections are to take place soon. In order to face the elections, three committees- to distribute constituencies, prepare the manifesto and coordinate the campaign- were announced on January 23. I did not figure in any of these committees. To include or not include someone in the committee is the desire of the party leadership, it is their right,” he wrote in a lengthy post on his Facebook page.

Maitreyan also pointed out that ever since joining the party in 1999, he had been a part of the manifesto preparation committee both for the state assembly elections in 2001, 2006 and 2011 as well as the Lok Sabha polls in 2004, 2009 and 2014. He added that late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had also included him in the constituency distribution committee for the 2011 assembly elections.

Facing uncertain prospects and battling anti-incumbency across the state, the AIADMK’s Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Coordinator and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami announced a five-member committee last week, comprising senior party leaders such as KP Munusamy, R Vaidyalingam and Ministers P Thangamani, SP Velumani and JCT Prabakar, to decide on alliance talks.

Recalling an incident from 2009 when the AIADMK's Lok Sabha manifesto titled 'An Agenda For A Better India' was released, the MP said, “Amma (Jayalalithaa) released the 2009 Lok Sabha General Election manifesto at Poes Garden (her residence). Amma had planned to take the manifesto to the people in a different way. A meeting with all print reporters and television journalists was organised by the party's then youth wing secretary Dr Venkatesh at Residency Towers hotel in T Nagar, near Pondy Bazaar.”

When the former chief minister was reportedly given the idea that the party manifesto could be explained as slides in a Powerpoint presentation by Jaya TV editor Sunil, Jayalalithaa reportedly instructed, "Let Maitreyan do it, only that will be correct.”

Maitreyan further wrote, “I was informed a few hours prior to the event. I explained the essence of the party manifesto for over an hour. As far as I know, that is the first time a political party was using slides in a Powerpoint presentation to present its manifesto. The next day morning Amma left for Kodanadu (Jayalalithaa's retreat in Ooty). Party leaders were standing at the old airport to greet Amma. So was I. After Amma accepted (our greetings) with a smile, her car was approaching the entrance of the airport. After the car moved two feet, she stopped the car, lowered the window and called me.”

“She said, 'Maitreyan, you did excellently yesterday. Very happy, congratulations.' She blessed me thus and went towards her flight. What other certificate of appreciation do I need more than this?” concluded the MP. Maitreyan had last made headlines in November 2017, when he had hinted that despite the merger of now CM Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam's feuding factions, their hearts were not one.

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