Chennai: Former chief minister O Panneerselvam has convened a meeting of ‘AIADMK’ headquarters office-bearers and district secretaries appointed by him recently – in Chennai on December 21. This is the first meeting of his office bearers after his visit to Gujarat to attend the swearing in ceremony of Bhupendra Patel-led BJP government in Ahmedabad, the event which Edappadi K Palaniswami skipped, citing prior appointments.
Insiders say that Panneerselvam has appointed secretaries in 88 district units and hundreds of functionaries in the district and state units and all organisational wings. The meeting on Wednesday will be chaired by ‘AIADMK’ political advisor Panruti S Ramachandran. “Ever since OPS returned from Gujarat, he has been telling his associates and partymen to not waste even a minute and speed up party work. The meeting of district secretaries may pave the way for the conduct of the executive committee and general council meeting next for which members are being appointed,” said a leader. OPS was accompanied by his two sons, Theni MP P Ravindhranath and V P Jayapradeep, when he visited Gujarat for the swearing-in ceremony, and he was offered a seat in the front row on the dais. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda greeted Panneerselvam and exchanged pleasantries. It had given the much-needed push to the leader, a source said. Hugely disappointed over the invite extended by the Union government to Palaniswami to attend the Prime Minister’s G20 preparatory meeting with the party heads earlier, OPS had shot off a letter to Union minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Prahlad Joshi, to withdraw the invitation, claiming that he was the validly elected head of the AIADMK. OPS group believes the invitation to the G20 preparatory meet was secured by the Palaniswami camp through some manoeuvring. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has listed the hearing of OPS petition – challenging the Madras high court order favouring the leadership of Palaniswami – on January 4.
“There is no change in his (OPS’s) position as coordinator. The election commission continues to recognise him. The tenure of OPS will remain till December 2026,” said a senior leader.