CHENNAI: Former chief minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) is continuing with his appointment drive in his faction of the AIADMK to give it some semblance of respectability as he prepares himself to fight it out with the Edappadi K Palaniswami faction before the Election Commission of India. The OPS faction has claimed that it has reinstated several thousand AIADMK functionaries and cadres, expelled from the party in the last few years.
He has appointed new district secretaries for many districts, mostly in southern Tamil Nadu. He has also created new party posts by bifurcating party district units in Madurai and Virudhunagar. Apart from the three existing party district units in Madurai, OPS has created one more party district in Madurai. Similarly, Virudhunagar will now have three party district units. While the reason being cited for bifurcation of district units is administrative convenience, the actual objective is to stuff the party faction with as many functionaries as possible to put up a show of strength whenever and wherever it matters. He has also appointed “integrated district secretaries” by clubbing some districts together.
Appointments are being done in the western belt too. For instance, M Shanmugam has been appointed secretary of integrated Tirupur district, which comprises Avinasi, Tirupur north, Tirupur south, Palladam, Kangeyam, Maathukulam, Dharapuram and Udumalpet party districts. He has appointed Omsakthi Sekar district secretary of the integrated Puducherry district.
Vellamandi N Natarajan, a former minister, who was expelled from the party on July 14 by EPS has been given the post of AIADMK organising secretary by OPS. Natarajan used to be an AIADMK strongman in Trichy region.