In a surprise development, the AIADMK has expelled O Raja, brother of deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvem from the primary membership of the party for 'anti-party activities'. The expulsion order signed by Panneerselvam himself accuses Raja of acting in a manner that defames the AIADMK and urges cadre to cut all ties with him.
The joint statement expelling the former Periyakulam Panchay President from Tirunelveli is signed by both party coordinator Panneerselvam and AIADMK Joint Coordinator and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami. It states that Raja is being expelled for, 'working against party principles, for acting in a way that brings taint to the party and for violating rules and acting in a way that will defame the party'.
While it was initially alleged that the action against the brother of the deputy CM was over his meeting with AMMK Chief TTV Dhinakaran in September, sources tell TNM that the expulsion is a result of infighting. This decision from the party heads comes on the day that O Raja was elected as the local chairman of the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation from Madurai. He was reportedly selected unopposed from the region sparking allegations of conspiracy within the federation.
"This has nothing to do with him meeting TTV Dhinakaran," says a source from AMMK. "He has won as local chairman and he wanted to contest at the state level next. People in the AIADMK were not happy with this because they believed there was favouritism," he adds.
AIADMK ministers who TNM contacted refused to comment on the matter. Even Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar who spoke to the media outside the AIADMK officer merely stated that Raja's anti-party activities had led to this decision.