Sulking AIADMK MLA calls on CM, resigns from party post

Venkatachalam said to be at loggerheads with Minister

AIADMK legislator Thoppu N.D. Venkatachalam, who has been at loggerheads with senior party leader and Minister for Environment K.C. Karuppannan, called on AIADMK co-coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday and handed over his resignation from a party post. He claimed he had resigned as joint secretary of the party’s Amma Peravai for personal reasons.

Addressing reporters after his meeting with the CM, Mr. Venkatachalam said, “I am resigning from [my] party post due to personal reasons. I will continue to work for the AIADMK as a partyman and a true follower of Amma [former CM Jayalalithaa].” To a query whether the exit polls were a reason for his resignation, he insisted that his decision was not influenced by them.

His meeting with the CM lasted over two hours.

Mr. Venkatachalam refused to comment on his differences of opinion with Mr. Karuppannan. “I have been a Minister during Amma’s regime and have been a district secretary for eight years. Amma had entrusted me with election duties for Erode and all eight Assembly seats in Erode were won [by the AIADMK during that time]. Even her car was parked in my house for four days during campaigning,” he said.

He declined to comment when asked whether he was eyeing a ministerial berth. Mr. Venkatachalam recently alleged that the Environment Minister had been working against the interests of the party in the recently-concluded election.

The Perundurai MLA had alleged that the Minister was working for the defeat of the AIADMK’s candidate in the Tiruppur Parliamentary constituency and had sought votes for the DMK at many places.

Since the merger of the factions of the AIADMK, Mr. Venkatachalam is said to have been sidelined. He recently said Mr. Karuppannan should “at least work for the AIADMK during the Aravakurichi bypoll”. He also alleged that the Minister did not implement any schemes for the people of Erode district, and that only his family was being benefited.

The media in-charge of AIADMK, Vaigai Selvan, said there were no differences of opinion between Mr. Karuppannan and Mr. Venkatachalam.

When asked whether the CM accepted the MLA’s resignation, Mr. Selvan said, “The Chief Minister has advised Mr. Venkatachalam to continue his good work, and has told him that opportunities will come his way.”

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