OPS visits Jaya memorial along with his son

AIADMK coordinator and Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam today visited the memorial of former CM and late AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa at Marina in Chennai and offered tributes.

He was accompanied by his son and newly elected Theni MP Raveendranath Kumar, Minister R B Udhayakumar and other functionaries of the party. Sources said OPS visited Jaya memorial to pay tributes for his son’s victory.

After Raveendranath Kumar emerged the lone winner of the AIADMK-BJP alliance in the recently concluded LS polls, there were reports that he would be given a Minister seat in the Central government.

However, reports said OPS’ representation to PM Modi fell through as CM Palaniswami conveyed that OPS’ son Raveendranath Kumar is a first-time MP whereas Rajya Sabha MP, while R Vaithilingam is a senior leader and had been a minister in the state.

This is the first time that an elected MP from Tamil Nadu won’t be a part of the central government. From 2014-2019, BJP’s Pon Radhakrishnan was a minister of state for finance and shipping.

The internal rift between the EPS and OPS camps made the party miss the bus yet again, said reports. Till Wednesday, two candidates from the AIADMK were in the race for a portfolio in the new BJP government.

While Panneerselvam was trying hard to bargain for a post for his son, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy, also known as EPS, wanted his loyalist and senior Rajya Sabha member R Vaithilingam to get a Cabinet berth.

Reports suggest a section of the AIADMK, mainly from the Chief Minister’s camp, proposed the name of R Vaithilingam, a Rajya Sabha member, three-time legislator and a former minister in J Jayalalithaa’s cabinet. He was also a confidant of Jayalalithaa, who died in December 2016.

With 5,04,813 votes, 39-year-old Raveendranath managed to gain 43.02% of the total votes in Theni constituency. Next in line with less than 8000 votes away was EVKS Elangovan from the Congress.