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AIADMK drama: Security tightened as Tiruchirapally braces for mega OPS-EPS rally

Wednesday’s rally will serve as a show of strength by Palanisamy and Panneerselvam, who challenged the dominance of the Sasikala-led Mannargudi family over the AIADMK to merge their factions two days ago.

tamil nadu Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:36 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
O Panneerselvam,E Palanisamy,VK Sasikala
Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami (right) and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam exchange greetings following the merger of their factions in Chennai on Monday. (PTI photo)

A day after sidelined AIADMK leaders VK Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran attacked the Tamil Nadu government, chief minister Edapaddi Palanisami and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam seemed all set to make their first public appearance together at a rally in Tiruchirapally on Wednesday.

The duo left for the event, to be held as part of the centenary celebrations for legendary actor-politician MG Ramachandran, in the same aircraft on Wednesday morning.

The rally will serve as a show of strength by Palanisamy and Panneerselvam, who challenged the dominance of the Sasikala-led Mannargudi family over the AIADMK in the past three decades to merge their factions on Monday. The local administration is beefing up security to prevent the occurrence of any untoward incidents at the politically charged event.

Meanwhile, party mouthpiece Namdhu MGR indicated the Sasikala-Dinakaran line of political assault by condemning governor C Vidyasagar Rao for not ordering a floor test in the aftermath of 19 MLAs loyal to the Mannargudi family withdrawing their support. Though the rebel legislators are currently being housed at The Windflower Resorts and Spa in Puducherry to prevent being poached by political detractors, sources said they might be shifted to another location soon.

The Opposition parties, for their part, are trying to make hay while political infighting continues to roil the AIADMK. DMK working president MK Stalin blasted the BJP government at the Centre – supposedly the force behind the newfound unity between the Panneerselvam and Palanisami factions – for cheating Tamil Nadu on NEET, and announced a state-wide protest in this regard.

Stalin also accused both the factions of the AIADMK of capitulating before the Modi government, which has “done nothing for Tamil Nadu”.

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 11:35 IST