Arukutty in EPS camp, CM says he is not poaching anyone

V C Arukutty, the MLA representing the Kavundampalayam constituency in Coimbatore district, who on Friday quit the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, formally joined the ruling AIADMK (Amma) on Sunday, in the presence of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

Meanwhile, Palaniswami has said he did not poach any MLA from the rebel AIADMK camp, led by former CMO Panneerselvam. “But if someone comes on his own, how can I say no to them,” he said.

Reports said Palaniswami is regrouping gounder leaders in the party under his leadership, by doling out government projects to their constituencies.

Edappadi met former MP K C Palaniswami, the original petitioner who challenged V K Sasikala’s appointment as party general secretary before the Election Commission. Edappadi’s outreach is creating ripples in the OPS camp.

Arukutty claimed that he joined AIADMK (Amma) in deference to the wishes of the voters in his constituency, whom he had been consulting over the past few days.

The voters, he claimed, wanted him to be part of the ruling faction in order to secure more development projects for his constituency. “My constituency and its voters are my priority, and hence, I have joined the ruling faction,” he said.