It would probably be the first time where ADMK leader Panneerselvam had signed the party's order of expelling his own brother from the basic membership of the party. Panneerselvam's brother Raja has been removed from the ADMK hours after he met VK Sasikala, the expelled general secretary who is back in the limelight after the party's debacle in the recently-held urban local body polls.
ADMK has been trembling with a leadership crisis for the last several years as the party hasn't got a significant push ahead with the current dual leadership of Edappadi Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, the duo that has been exhibiting the flawed trait of leading the party. Under the current leadership, ADMK had lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, 2021 assembly polls and rural local body polls, and the 2022 urban local body polls.
Despite an unprecedented row of electoral defeats, the party hasn't reaped a resolution to fix the crisis and the furore has been escalating within the party after the current leaders had proved that there should be a replacement in the leadership and the party should be brought under the single leadership. However, as both the leaders are not ready to relinquish their baton of leadership, the party has been witnessing voices from across the state that the baton to lead the party should be handed over to VK Sasikala.
Recently, Panneerselvam had convened a meet in his home district of Theni where several ADMK cadres had voiced their support for VK Sasikala. Some of the seniors assert that the party would get collapsed if the crisis is not fixed. While Edappadi Palaniswami is blocking the entry of VK Sasikala with the fear that he would lose his command, it has been reported that Panneerselvam has begun his negotiations with Sasikala, signalling that he is fine with her entry into the party.
The reports say that Panneerselvam's brother O Raja has on Friday met VK Sasikala in Tiruchendur as the latter had begun her tour of meeting her supporters in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. A day after the meet, the ADMK leadership has on Saturday issued a statement in which it has announced the expulsion of O Raja and three others reportedly for meeting VK Sasikala, which the leadership claimed is against the party's interest.
Besides being an ADMK member, O Raja was serving as the chairman of the Aavin Board in Theni. Along with Raja, three others - Murugesan, Vaigai Karupuji, and Sethupathi were expelled from the party. While the party's order of expulsion carried the signature of Panneerselvam, sources say that Edappadi Palaniswami could have acquired Panneerselvam's signature without divulging the expulsion of his brother.
The party's statement said that these four people had acted in a fashion of bringing disrepute to the party. On the other hand, following the expulsion of Raja, several voices are around the party that how Panneerselvam can lead the party if he can't be able to block his brother's expulsion. As VK Sasikala is coming to the limelight, it poses yet another episode of a tussle in the ADMK on who leads the party, that claims to have over 1.5 crore members.
The leadership crisis has birthed following the demise of J Jayalalithaa and while Edappadi Palaniswami not giving space to VK Sasikala, the ADMK has been losing its cadres due to the crisis. Several cadres are also planning to join DMK before their home party totally crumbles. O Raja is among the functionaries who call for the leadership led by VK Sasikala. Speaking to the reporters after the expulsion, O Raja said that ADMK needs the leadership of VK Sasikala.