AIADMK boots out minority wing secy Anwhar Raajhaa for supporting VK Sasikala

AIADMK boots out minority wing secy Anwhar Raajhaa for supporting VK Sasikala
© Provided by Hindustan Times AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and leader of opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Edappadi K Palaniswami issued the order notifying A Anwhar Raajhaa expulsion from the AIADMK (ANI)

CHENNAI: The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Tuesday expelled the party’s minority wing secretary and senior leader A. Anwhar Raajhaa on the ground that he violated party principles, the party said in a late evening announcement.

Raajhaa has been speaking in favour of VK Sasikala’s re-entry into the party and against the current dual leadership of the AIADMK headed by Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam.

The AIADMK’s orders come on the eve of the party’s crucial December 1 meeting of its executive committee, a key decision-making body that is likely to discuss the ensuing local body polls as well as the Sasikala factor. The former chief minister J Jayalalithaa close aide has vowed to reclaim the AIADMK which expelled her in August 2017 when the factions led by O Panneerselvam and E Edpappadi K Panneerselvam merged. Panneerselvam recently said the party will discuss her re-entry but the suggestion was promptly trashed by Palaniswami, who she handpicked as chief minister in February 2017 before going to serve her prison term. She was released from jail in January this year after serving her prison term.

The announcement to remove Raajhaa on Tuesday was signed by both leaders, AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, the joint coordinator.

“He is removed from the primary membership of the party for speaking against the decisions of the high command and bringing disrepute to the AIADMK,” the joint statement from the dual leadership read.

The AIADMK has been sacking cadre who have been speaking to Sasikala and have supported her. Raajhaa’s removal, however, is the first major expulsion.

A former minister in the J Jayalalithaa cabinet and ex-MP from Ramanathapuram, Raajhaa in recent days said that the AIADMK would have fared better in the elections earlier this year if they had united with Sasikala. Since J Jayalalithaa’s death in office in December 2016, the AIADMK-led NDA alliance lost the 2019 parliamentary elections, 2021 assembly elections and the rural body polls in October.

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