AIADMK's stern warning to those in touch with Sasikala, expels 17 party workers, OPS elected deputy leader

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CHENNAI: The AIADMK on Monday warned of disciplinary action against those in the party if they interacted with ousted party leader V K Sasikala, even as it expelled 17 members including party spokesman V Pugazhendhi.
Most of those expelled were said to have spoken to ousted former interim general secretary V K Sasikala.
The AIADMK legislators' meeting, held at the party headquarters here, which passed the unanimous resolution warning of stern action, also elected partys coordinator O Panneerselvam as deputy leader of the opposition in the assembly.
AIADMK co-coordinator and former chief minister K Palaniswami was on June 10 elected as leader of the opposition.
At the meeting which lasted about three hours, the AIADMK lawmakers deliberated in detail about the issue of 'leaked phone calls' in the social media allegedly involving Sasikala with some of the AIADMK cadres.
She had purportedly said she would make a comeback to the party in the near future.
"After announcing that she would stay away from politics ahead of the assembly elections, Sasikala now wants to take over the party after seeing the partys spectacular growth.This is evident from media reports of her conversation with some party members," the resolution moved by the leaders Panneerselvam and Palaniswami said.
Calling for the immediate removal of all those who spoke to Sasikala over phone, the resolution said it was already warned through a statement on May 23 that stern action would be taken against those indulging in anti-party activities.
Dismissing as "drama" Sasikala's reported telephonic conversation with its party members, AIADMK said the party can never be destroyed for the "desires of one family."
"We have successfully completed Jayalalithaa's rule by disappointing those who thought that there will be more chaos in Tamil Nadu (following Jayalalithaa's demise)-- the AIADMK-led alliance won 75 seats, defeating conspiracies and won people's support," the resolution said.
As the main opposition party, AIADMK has 66 MLAs, it said and condemned attempts of Sasikala to reach out to some members in the party.
"She is attempting to capture the party and enacting a strange drama by speaking to some over the phone," it said.
Later, in a statement, the AIADMK announced expulsion of 17 party workers for anti-party activities.
The meet elected Panneerselvam as the deputy leader of the opposition in the Assembly, while former minister S P Velumani was elected the party whip.
S Ravi has been chosen as deputy whip, former minister Kadambur C Raju as treasurer, former minister K P Anbalagan as secretary and P H Manoj Pandian as deputy secretary, according to a release issued by the party leaders.
Post poll, apart from sitting in opposition after a decade of rule, the AIADMK is beset with the issue of alleged leaked audio tapes purportedly involving the conversation of Sasikala who took over the party following the demise of J Jayalalithaa in 2016, and some AIADMK members.
Following the merger of the two factions led by Pannerselvam and Palaniswami, the AIADMK ousted Sasikala.

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