AIADMK Coordinator O Pannerselvam and Co-Coordinator Edappadi Palaniswami issued a joint statement On July 12 to announce the party’s decision on boycotting media debates. The party leadership also restrained its spokespersons from participating in it thereafter.
The party leadership on the statement alleged that the media has been deliberately conducting debates that seem to be belittling the image of the party and its leaders. This decision comes after when news media and social media influencers have been widely talking and discussing the comeback of V K Sasikala, the close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Sasikala’s daily phone conversations with AIADMK volunteers have been top stories recently, where she alleges and criticises the current leadership of the party for the Assembly election defeat and making her intentions clear that she targets to capture AIADMK. The continuous leak of audiotapes has caused a stir in the political arena.
OPS and EPS in their joint statement said that “Media, which is the fourth pillar of democracy, do not care about the people’s problems, rather trying to pick topics for debates that degrade or belittle the pride of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the images of its leaders. Such discussions are painful.”
They also urged the TV channels to stop inviting those who claim to represent the AIADMK party and its views for their shows.
KC Palanisamy, former MP and former MLA pointed out, “AIADMK cadres are facing a crisis inside the party. Firstly, AIADMK’s Anwar Raja while in an interview with a private news channel said, how Karunanidhi threw away MG Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR after becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, in such a way Edappadi Palaniswami became the Chief Minister on the support of Sasikala and later he threw her away. Then he (Anwar) is seen defending EPS in the debate.
Secondly, AIADMK’s Maitreyan recently alleged that the BJP that the party holds a double stand on the NEET issue which is against the interest of the people of Tamil Nadu. This clearly states that both are ready to face expulsion if the party leadership does so. The next question which arises here is ‘how many party members will be expelled by the leadership if it goes this way?’. This brings damage to the party and its leaders.”
“Later, the party sought to fix the root cause of the damage by boycotting the media debates. The joint statement clearly states that it is not only for television debates but for all the interviews on social media platforms. Many protesting voices are rising within the AIADMK party. If in case the leadership accepts the protesting voices, more voices would arise. If the leadership expels them, it would bring high damage to the party, where their party members might join the DMK or the other parties. Thus to break these phenomena, the party constructed the ‘wall’.
However, if the other persons try to criticise the party and they are capable, they should be in a position to convince. Rather, slipping from the game means that they aren’t fit to have a political party. Thus, this is a wrong decision made by the party leadership, equals to suicidal attempt where the entire cadres are unhappy on the decision that would result in counterproductive," he said.