Chennai: The AIADMK rejected reports of rift in the party and jockeying for the top post of general secretary held by Jayalalithaa and said election will take place soon to choose her successor, amid speculation that Sasikala is the frontrunner.
AIADMK organisational secretary C Ponnaiyan also strongly defended Sasikala and chief minister O Panneerselvam, saying there is nothing wrong in their leaders. "The party high command has taken a decision to elect a general secretary and the election will happen soon," he told reporters.
To a question related to recent meetings with Sasikala, he said, "Even if somebody (belonging to the party) met Sasikala Amma, what is wrong in it? Is she not an important member of the party? What you say is wrong."
Asked about reported competition for the post of general secretary, Ponnaiyan said he had already clarified that such reports are just rumours. "There is no such thing like competition or problems. There is nothing like this or that person competing (for the top post)," he said, adding AIADMK was a united party which has been built like a fortress by 'Amma'.
On a query about the role of Sasikala's husband Natarajan and other family members in the party, he said, "This is an
unnecessary question. The party is led and guarded by over 1.5 crore members."
Drawing a distinction between government-led by AIADMK and the party organisation, he said that while the government was led by O Panneerselvam, the party was steered by elected bodies. "AIADMK is steered by party bodies, including general and
executive committees and functionaries at multiple levels and Sasikala is a key member," Ponnaiyan, who is also the party
spokesperson, said. "Sasikala Amma lived with Puratchi Thalaivi Amma's (Jayalalithaa) last breath. Such questions are unnecessary."
Asked who the chief minister, ministers and other top officials are consulting by visiting the Poes Garden residence of the departed AIADMK supremo, he said, "They are having a meeting with the chief minister there. It (Veda Nilayam at Poes Garden) is Amma's house where Amma's portrait is there. We are in mourning and it is still not over. They are going there (also) to pay homage. It is not good to invent imaginative reasons for everything. The party will soon elect a general secretary who will guard the party and cadres, who follow the footsteps of Amma with godly devotion, and Tamil Nadu people," he added.
On the reported anger among some cadres against Sasikala as access was not provided to anyone to visit Jayalalithaa during her hospitalisation, he said, "It is a planned rumour and spread wantonly. Blaming this or that person is a deliberate rumour."
Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.
Updated Date: Dec 10, 2016 17:05:02 IST