The recent meeting between AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami accompanied by six senior leaders of his party and Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi at the Raj Bhavan here has fuelled speculations on possible implications in the state politics.
Palaniswami said that he had met the Governor to submit a memorandum with a few complaints against the DMK government in the state. The AIADMK and the BJP are allies, although they contested the last local body elections separately.
Speculation has been rife that the AIADMK team was told in no uncertain terms that it would have to take efforts to bring about unity in the party, which had been divided into four camps, with the ousted former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS), leading one group, while two other groups owing allegiance to Sasikala Natarajan, former aide of late J Jayalalithaa, and Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran respectively.
Palaniswami has been adamant in denying a role for the ousted trio and their supporters saying that the AIADMK has no room for them. He has also been stating from an open platform that most of the party men are opposed to OPS, and that they also do not want to take back Sasikala and Dhinakaran, or any member from her family.
It is learnt that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has suggested Palaniswami to take steps to bring them back into the party. Shah’s efforts so far have not yielded any fruit. Further, Palaniswami’s remark that he need not meet Shah every time he comes to Tamil Nadu has not gone down well with the BJP leadership both at the national and the state level.
Shah is understood to have warned AIADMK that it could run into trouble if the party’s two leaves symbol is frozen by the Election Commission on the lines of a similar situation in Maharashtra. Some of Palaniswami’s colleagues have informed him that his statement about Shah could affect BJP-AIADMK ties, and that he should take steps to repair the damage.
The Governor is considered to be an important factor in the BJP’s scheme of things in Tamil Nadu. Therefore, his views have serious implications for the AIADMK. It remains to be seen if Palaniswami initiates a course correction.