Rift widens in AIADMK, Panneerselvam to quit Deputy CM post?

AIADMK coordinator and Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam was closeted with a section of leaders on Tuesday, skipping a meeting chaired by Chief Minister K Palaniswami on COVID-19, a day after the two crossed swords over who should lead the party in the 2021 assembly elections.

A few reports claimed that Panneerselvam is planning to quit as Deputy Chief Minister post, amid speculations about the probability of a fresh bout of bickering.

Those who met the Deputy Chief Minister at his residence on Greenways Road for about an hour, were the party’s deputy coordinators K.P. Munusamy and R. Vaithilingam and former Member of Parliament P.H. Manoj Pandian.

Emerging from the day’s meeting, Vaithilingam told the media that his participation in the meeting was in his personal capacity. He denied that this had had any political significance.

The executive committee meet here saw heated exchanges between Panneerselvam and Palaniswami over whos hould be the chief ministerial face of the AIADMK for the assembly elections next year. Vaithilingam on Tuesday said he supported both Panneerselvam and Palaniswami considering the party interests.

Interestingly, former Information Technology Minister M.Manikandan met Panneerselvam on Tuesday.

Ramanathapuram MLA Manikandan was dropped from the Palaniswami cabinet last year after he criticised the CM for unilaterally slashing monthly tariff collected by Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation from subscribers.