Three seats lost, Jayalalithaa sacks four
Even after a spectacular victory in the elections, AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa removed district secretaries in charge of the only three constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry where the party lost, and a fourth one for reasons unclear. Three ministers too have been sacked and their replacements announced. The action comes in stark contrast to the silence in rival camps despite losses.
The district secretaries shunted out were of Dharmapuri from where PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss won, Kanyakumari (BJP’s Pon Radhakrishnan), Puducherry Union Territory where the AIADMK came third, and also Thiruvallur, where a spectacular win failed to save west district secretary BV Ramana his party and ministerial posts. John Thangam, the expelled district secretary of Kanyakumari West, was also the party candidate and lost badly, coming a distant third after the BJP and the Congress.
Ministers K T Pachamal, S Damodaran and Ramana have been sacked, and S Gokula Indira, S S Krishnamoorthy and SP Velumani inducted in their place. All these three have been ministers in this Cabinet, before being shunted out in earlier reshuffles.
At a high-level meeting at her Poes Garden residence attended by all Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members of her party on Monday, Jaya appointed senior MP M Thambidurai, who was re-elected from Karur, as its parliamentary party leader, and Rajya Sabha leader V Maitreyan as his deputy leader. P Venugopal, who won from Tiruvallur, is the deputy leader in the lower house, while S Muthukaruppan will be the deputy leader in Rajya Sabha. P Kumar, MP from Tiruchy has been made the whip.
In the DMK, M Karunanidhi’s son M K Stalin had tendered his resignation for leading the party to a humiliating defeat, but Karunanidhi refused to accept it, leading to ridicule that it was a scripted drama.
Nothing has moved in the DMDK that won none of 14 seats, the MDMK that won none of seven, and the PMK and the BJP that won only one of eight seats they contested, nor in smaller parties the VCK, the PT, the KMDK, the IJK and the NJP whose leaders contested and lost.
11 held for attack outside Stalin home
Chennai: Police have arrested 11 persons, including office-bearers of the DMK for assaulting media personnel outside the residence of party treasurer M K Stalin on Sunday, even as the party claimed the incident was the handiwork of outside elements. After the party came under criticism, its organising secretary T K S Elangovan followed by Stalin came out expressing their regret. ENS