Close on the heels of chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announcing that his party AIADMK (Amma) would support the NDA presidential candidate, the rival faction led by former CM O Panneerselvam followed suit and extended support to former Bihar governor, Ram Nath Kovind.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi sealed the pact with EPS, BJP national president Amit Shah is said to have spoken to OPS camp leaders. Palaniswami and Panneerselvam reached New Delhi on Friday.
“Based on the request made by Amit Shah, we had a meeting of our MLAs and MPs. Considering the track record of Kovind, we arrived at the unanimous decision to support him,” Panneerselvam told journalists on Thursday.
Both Panneerselvam and Palaniswami are likely to meet Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah in Delhi, it is said.
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president Su. Tirunavukkarasar has hit out at the AIADMK (Amma) and AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) for extending their support to the BJP’s candidate.
The main opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Pattali Makkal Katchi too slammed the AIADMK teams’ decision to support NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the upcoming presidential polls.
Meanwhile, TTV Dinakaran supporters went into a huddle at his Adyar residence for a couple of hours before the AIADMK-Amma deputy general secretary left the house. Former ministers, Thoppu ND Venkatachalam, P Palaniappan, V Senthil Balaji, and MLAs, S Mariappan Kennedy (Manamadurai) and R Balasubramani (Ambur) skipped the assembly session and camped at Dhinakaran’s house.
Actor and Thiruvadanai MLA Karunas dropped by, calling it a courtesy visit. When prodded, the actor ruled out discussing politics. “It was on Sasikala’s recommendation that I got the Thiruvadanai ticket. I will abide by her decision on Presidential polls,” he said.