Chennai, Dec 25: Stung by the R K Nagar bypoll defeat at the hands of rebel leader TTV Dhinakaran, the ruling AIADMK on Monday axed several of his aides and warned of action against those who “betrayed” the party.
The AIADMK, which convened a high-level meeting of the party leaders at its headquarters on Monday to take stock of the situation post RK Nagar drubbing, decided to put up a brave face and blamed the secret understanding between TTV and the DMK for its debacle.
At the same time, as if sending out a stern warning to fence sitters and opportunists in the party, who are likely to hobnob with TTV, the AIADMK expelled two district secretaries of the party – South Chennai – North, VP Kalairajan and Tirunelveli Urban, Popular V Muthiah, besides Karnataka state secretary, V Pugazhendhi as well as party spokesman, Nanjil K Sampath and party women’s wing deputy secretary, CR Saraswathi from the primary membership of the party for indulging in ‘anti-party’ activities.
The party also decided to remove four district secretaries – P Vetrivel (North Chennai – North), NG Parthibhan (Vellore East), M Rangaswamy (Thanjavur North) and Thanga Tamilselvan (Theni) from their party posts. All the four were known TTV supporters.
In a joint statement, Palaniswami and Panneerselvam said the members were being “removed” since they went against party’s principles and brought “disrepute” to AIADMK.
“Party workers are requested not to have any truck with them,” they said in the statement.
Putting up a brave face in wake of the bypoll loss, Palaniswami said action will be taken against those who “betrayed” AIADMK.
“Action will be certainly taken against all those who betrayed AIADMK,” he told reporters after a meeting to analyse the defeat.
Palaniswami reaffirmed that the rival camp won due to a “tacit understanding” with the DMK.
He asked how the DMK, which polled about 57,000-odd votes in the 2016 Assembly polls, could get only around 24,000 votes this time.
Former chief minister J Jayalalithaa had won he seat last year, defeating Shimla Muthuchozhan of DMK by about 35,000 votes.
Palaniswami alleged that Dhinakaran won through unfair means.
The two leaders had alleged yesterday that Dhinakaran had entered into a conspiracy with DMK leader M K Stalin to defeat the AIADMK.
About Dhinakaran’s claim that the present government “will end in about three months”, Palaniswami shot back, asking “is he into astrology?”
The chief minister, who took charge in February following a revolt by Panneerselvam against now deposed leader V K Sasikala, said initially many had expressed doubt about his government’s survival but has already completed more than 11 months in office.
Panneerselvam called Dhinakaran ‘Maayaman’ (illusionary deer), referring to a character from the Ramayana.
“You all know what happened to those (Sita) who went behind that maayaman,” Panneerselvam said.
He said the ruling side had taken up with the Election Commission the “wrongdoings” of the Dhinakaran camp.
On the bypoll loss, he said all parties face ups and downs. Panneerselvam said the issue will be addressed and the party strengthened.
Meanwhile, the Dhinakaran camp questioned the action against his supporters.