The powerful Thevar community of South Tamil Nadu has come together and want O. Panneerselvam and estranged former interim general secretary, V.K. Sasikala to reclaim the AIADMK which is mired in internal tussle.
Around 100 Thevar organisations have joined hands and sent letters to both OPS and V.K. Sasikala to team up and reclaim the AIADMK which was traditionally supported by the community.
In the letter, the community leaders said that it was the Thevar community that had given life to the AIADMK and wanted the leaders to unite and take over the party from disintegrated.
It also referred to Sasikala as late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s sister born out of another mother and OPS as the most trusted cadre of late Jaya who like ‘Bharatha’ in Ramayana who had ruled on behalf of Lord Rama in Ayodhya as OPS had ruled Tamil Nadu whenever Jaya had wanted.
Thevarina Kootamaippu coordinator, M. Alagarasamy while speaking to IANS said: “A Thevar community has been a traditional support base for the AIADMK and our enemies are trying to finish off by using our own people who had aligned with other caste leaders. The expulsion of OPS from the AIADMK and how he was insulted in the June 23 general council meeting has pained the Thevar community. Let OPS and V.K. Sasikala join together and take over the party.”
The community leaders also urged the leaders to commence their campaign from South Tamil Nadu where the community is strong and spread it from Nagapattinam to Tirunelveli and from Coimbatore to Vellore.
The letter also mentioned the fighting spirit of the Thevar community and pointed out the Perungamanallur massacre of 1916 in which 16 people from piramalai kallar community were killed by the British while protesting against the Criminal Tribal Act.
The Thevar community which had been in the corridors of power when Jayalalithaa was Chief Minister due to the proximity enjoyed by Sasikala in the inner power circles has been sidelined ever since Edappadi K. Palaniswami became Chief Minister. The community is sore that Palaniswami, a Vellala Gounder had tried to systematically finish off the Thevar community and that the expulsion of OPS and V.K.Sasikala were part of this orchestrated move.
It has to be seen as to how the call of the community leaders percolates down the line and whether the move would lead to the AIADMK being taken over by OPS and Sasikala.