Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvamâs son, P Raveendranath Kumar has sought a party ticket for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as AIADMK MP candidate for Theni or Virudhunagar parliamentary constituencies. The development came on the day that the AIADMK started distribution of applications to members aspiring to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Sources close to the development acknowledge that although it is normal for party families and senior cadre to buy applications to increase numbers and project strength across constituencies, Raveendranath seeking a seat is a message to Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami coterie in the party.
âRaveendranath is quite ambitious. He, along with his father, have business interests in the Theni region and beyond. Deputy Chief Minister Panneerselvam was in fact the only one from the Tamil Nadu political community who attended the Isha Ambani- Anand Piramal wedding. So his ties go deep. His son aspires to enter politics and make a name for himself before his father loses power,â says one AIADMK source.
Over the years, Raveendranath doubled up as a political aide for his father. According to a December 2017 report in the The Week, Raveendranath and his brother Jayapradeep have sizeable investments in the corporate sector. Notably, both brothers were not named in the 2006 Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption's charge sheet against Panneerselvam, while most of his immediate family was.
With both the EPS and OPS camp poised for turf wars when it comes to ticket distribution, positioning his son as a candidate from either Theni or Virudhunagar is OPSâ power move to ensure that the seat comes to his kitty.
On Monday, Panneerselvam confirmed that alliance talks with other state and national parties are on. Speculation has long been rife that the ruling party in the state would ally with the BJP.
In December last year, another relative of the Deputy Chief Minister, O Panneerselvamâs brother was expelled from the party over âanti-partyâ activities and acting in a manner that brings disrepute to the party. O Raja was elected as local chairman of the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation in Madurai. Party sources had told TNM at the time that his victory in the Aavin polls had caused infighting within the party since Raja had reportedly held talks with RK Nagar MLA and AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran in September to reportedly seek his support.