Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam chose to skip the celebration at Madurai, while CM Edappadi Palaniswami hoisted the AIADMK flag.

Team OPS sidelined AIADMK member says no invite sent on two leaves celebration
news Politics Saturday, November 25, 2017 - 14:41

Two days after the Election Commission recognised the ruling faction under Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and his Deputy CM O Panneerselvam as the AIADMK and allocated them the two leaves symbol, fissures have now emerged in the party.

Aspire Swaminathan, member of the AIADMK’s IT wing and a support of OPS, expressed his displeasure at the event organised on Saturday to celebrate the retrieval of the two leaves symbol, pointing out that no invite was sent out to anyone. The celebrations, held in Madurai, saw CM EPS hoisting the party flag.

Taking to Twitter, Aspire Swaminathan writes, “Minister has announced success meet to celebrate retrieval of two leaves symbol today. They will hoist party flag in a grand manner. There is no invite or information about these celebrations to anyone."

Significantly, Deputy Chief Minister OPS chose to skip the event. A plaque unveiled at the celebrations had the names of EPS, and minister RB Udayakumar.  

Swaminathan’s post also comes just days after another OPS supporter and Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan had stated that even three months after the merger, a union of hearts was yet to take place.

“Three months since the merger and the fourth month is on. The months pass by but what about hearts?” asked Maitreyan in a post on Facebook. A day later, Maitreyan clarified that he had expressed the sentiments of the rank and file of the party.

Ahead of the EC ruling, a source had told TNM that the worry in the OPS camp was that if the two leaves symbol was allotted to the ruling faction, the Deputy CM and his supporters would be smothered by EPS.

The source had also suggested that despite the merger taking place on August 21, there was a lack of coordination among the top-rung.

“According to the terms of the merger, the steering committee was supposed to have six from OPS side and five from EPS faction. In the absence of an official structure, this committee was supposed to act like the party’s polit bureau. This was the only committee that was supposed to have OPS members in it. And there is no word on whether it will be formed,” said the source.

At the time of the merger, the United AIADMK had announced the formation of a coordination committee, with OPS as coordinator and EPS as joint coordinator, and two deputy coordinators.

“This committee has not met even once. There is no coordination. Everyone is working as it is,” admitted the source.

Incidentally, Maitreyan and Aspire Swaminathan are not the only members in Team OPS to publicly express their displeasure at the way things are being administered in the party post-merger. Former Minister Natham Viswanathan, another OPS supporter, also endorsed Maitreyan’s view that the cadre remained disenchanted months after the merger.  



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