Vastavam web: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today declined to comment on his deputy O Panneerselvam’s remarks that the latter acted on a suggestion from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on merging his faction with that of Palaniswami.Palaniswami said he would respond to the issue after going through Panneerselvam’s remarks, made at an AIADMK office-bearers meeting at Theni on Friday.Meanwhile, senior state BJP leader and Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan ruled out the possibility of Modi’s role in the merger, saying the “prime minister has at no point of time involved himself in politics.”
“Even during elections, he campaigns for the BJP and its allies…he doesn’t initiate any political steps (such as this),” he told reporters in Madurai.”He (Modi) said that you (Panneerselvam) could join (merge the faction) to save the party,” the deputy chief minister had said, without specifying exactly when the conversation took place.Meanwhile, sidelined AIADMK leader and RK Nagar MLA, T T V Dhinakaran, hit out at Panneerselvam for his criticism against V K Sasikala, the close aide of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa and her family.
He also asked if the prime minister was the “general secretary of the AIADMK” to whose suggestion Panneerselvam paid heed.Dhinakaran said that if Sasikala wanted to become the chief minister, she could have done so on the very night Jayalalithaa died, i.e December 5, 2016, but that she chose Panneerselvam for the job.He claimed Panneerselvam had insisted that Sasikala take over the party’s reigns in the wake of Jayalalithaa’s demise.Sasikala was elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party, paving her way for her elevation as chief minister. However, Panneerselvam revolted against her two days later, alleging he was forced to make way for her. Sasikala was later that month convicted in an assets case and is since lodged in a prison in Bengaluru.At the Theni meeting, Panneerselvam had charged that Sasikala’s family members tried to work for his defeat in the 2016 polls.