Narendra Modi insisted on merger to 'save AIADMK', asked me to join hands with K Palaniswamy, says O Panneerselvam

Panneerselvam, who last year merged his faction with that of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, has said that he had acted on a suggestion from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PTI February 17, 2018 19:44:58 IST
Narendra Modi insisted on merger to 'save AIADMK', asked me to join hands with K Palaniswamy, says O Panneerselvam

Theni/Chennai: Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, who last year merged his faction with that of Chief Minister K Palaniswamy, has said that he had acted on a suggestion from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Narendra Modi insisted on merger to save AIADMK asked me to join hands with K Palaniswamy says O Panneerselvam

File image of O Panneerselvam. PTI

Speaking at a party office-bearers meeting at Theni on Friday, the AIADMK coordinator said that the issue came up during a courtesy meeting he had with Modi in New Delhi last year.

"He (Modi) said that you (Panneerselvam) could join (merge the faction) to save the party," the deputy chief minister said, without specifiying the exactly when the conversation took place.

The merger of the two AIADMK factions took place in August 2016.

Panneerselvam, who had become chief minister of the state following the death of his predecessor J Jayalalithaa in December 2016, said he told the prime minister he did not want any cabinet position and can settle for a party post.

But the prime minister wanted him to join the ministry headed by Palaniswamy, he said.

The deputy chief minister said he had conveyed the same to two of his cabinet colleagues from the Palaniswamy camp prior to the merger, and that they also insisted he accept a minister's post.

"That is why I am a minister today. I have no desire to be a minister. Amma (Jayalalithaa) made me MLA four times and chief minister twice.

That honour itself is enough for me," he told the gathering.
Panneerselvam took over as chief minister twice — in 2001 and later in 2014 — when Jayalalithaa was convicted in two different cases.

In 2014, Jayalalithaa and her confidante Sasikala were convicted in the Rs 66.66 crore disproportionate assets case.

Panneerselvam, who revolted against Sasikala and her family last year after allegedly being forced to make way for her elevation to the chief ministers post, charged that her family members tried to work for his defeat in the 2016 polls.

Sasikala, however, could not become the chief minister due to her conviction in the graft case.

"If anyone else had faced this amount of crisis and problems, they would have committed suicide or would have left the party. (But) I tolerated everything for Amma," he said.

Meanwhile, senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar declined to comment on Panneerselvam's remarks about Modi's suggestion on merging his faction, saying the remark could have been made during a one-on-one meeting between the two.

He, however, said the party would welcome anyone making suggestions for the AIADMK's well-being.

"If someone says govern well, take forward Amma's rule and if that family (of Sasikala) is not required, we will see the postives in it," Jayakumar told reporters in Chennai.

The BJP's state unit also declined to comment on the development.

Party's state unit president Tamilisai Sounderrajan said that "during a conversation, the prime minister may have said something but I don't have a right to give an opinion on that." "He (Modi) might have given suggestion, there could have been an exchange of ideas, you should only ask him (Panneerselvam)," she said.

Updated Date:

also read

Tokyo Olympics 2020: ‘You gave your best’, PM Narendra Modi tells CA Bhavani Devi after fencer’s historic run ends at Games
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: ‘You gave your best’, PM Narendra Modi tells CA Bhavani Devi after fencer’s historic run ends at Games

Bhavani Devi began her campaign with a confident 15-3 win against Tunisia's Nadia Ben Azizi but bumped into Rio Olympics semi-finalist Frenchwoman Brunet in the next round, which she lost 7-15.

'Semen becomes Semmann': Typo leads to near acquittal of POCSO offender, Madras HC steps in on time
India

'Semen becomes Semmann': Typo leads to near acquittal of POCSO offender, Madras HC steps in on time

The typographical error had led the trial court judge to treat the semen found in the genitals of the child as semmann, which was not uncommon on a child playing on the floor outside a house.

PM meets social and religous leaders, asks them to help tackle COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy
India

PM meets social and religous leaders, asks them to help tackle COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

The leaders voiced their support towards spreading awareness about the ongoing vaccination drive and provided their ideas and suggestions for preventing the third wave, as per the PMO