AIADMK can win only when factions reunite, says ex-CM O Panneerselvam

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Chennai, Jun 11 (PTI) Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and expelled AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam, who lost in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections after contesting in alliance with the BJP, claimed the AIADMK can be successful only when the factions reunite.

Following the AIADMK's debacle in the Lok Sabha elections as it failed to win any seat, Panneerselvam, who launched the AIADMK Workers' Rights Retrieval Committee, raked up the issue of the party's unity on Tuesday and said it (party) could be victorious only when various factions reunited.

"Unless all the groups divided in the AIADMK are united, the party will not be able to win at any time," he said, reacting to AIADMK's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

Panneerselvam, unsuccessfully contested as an independent candidate on the "jackfruit" symbol from Ramanathapuram constituency with BJP's support. He lost to Nawas Kani of IUML, an ally of the ruling DMK.

Like the AIADMK, the BJP-led NDA too faced a rout in the polls. The DMK combine registered a spectacular victory, winning all the 39 constituencies in the state besides the lone Puducherry seat.

"Victory or defeat in elections is but natural. Revolutionary leaders M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa nurtured the party from a cadre-based to people-oriented party and ruled the state," Panneerselvam said.

He claimed that the BJP-led NDA increased its vote share and "this is a victory of Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai's hard work." On the AIADMK candidates losing their deposits in seven Lok Sabha constituencies, he told reporters that the AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami should respond to this.

Asked about his supporters -V Pugazhendhi, J C D Prabhakar and K C Palanisami- quitting his faction to launch their own outfit to bring about unity among the various factions in the AIADMK, Panneerselvam said "I wish them well." PTI JSP JSP SS