AIADMK splits its Erode Rural unit after defections

Chennai, July 22 : The AIADMK stung by the defections of senior leaders into the DMK fold after it lost in Erode rural district and other areas, has as a measure to pacify the tensions in the party district unit, bifurcated its Erode Rural district unit into Erode East and Erode West while retaining Erode Urban district as such.

Former Education minister in the AIADMK government and senior party leader, K.A. Sengottayan will be the secretary of the newly formed Erode West Suburban district. Three assembly constituencies fall under this newly formed district which include Gobichettipalyam, Anthiyur, and Bhavanisagar (reserved). While Gobichettipalayam and Bahavinisagar are represented by the AIADMK in the assembly, Anthiyur has a DMK member in the House.

AIADMK leader and environment minister in the Edappadi K. Palaniswami government, K.C. Karuppanan who was also the secretary of the unified Erode Rural will now be in charge of the Erode East Rural district carved out of Erode Rural. Two constituencies, Perundurai and Bhavani represented by AIADMK members fall under this constituency.

The bifurcation of Erode rural was announced by the AIADMK leaders O. Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday after there were reports of a large number of leaders and cadres shifting their allegiance to the DMK.

AIADMK leader and former minister, Thopopu N.D. Venkitachalam who was expelled from the party prior to the 2021 assembly elections and who contested as an Independent candidate, has joined the DMK. The leader had vowed that he would make DMK a much larger party in the AIADMK bastion of Erode.

In another major jolt to the AIADMK, former Rajya Sabha MP, and leader of the powerful Gounder community, N.R. Govindarajan joined the DMK in the presence of Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin on Wednesday.

AIADMK Ammapettai Union secretary Vijayanirmala and Sindhu Ravichandran, close associates of Sengottayian had already joined the DMK recently. These defections have led the AIADMK to do a rethink in its rural unit of Erode. Several party leaders and lower-rung cadres have complained against K.C. Karuppanan who was the party Erode rural district secretary.

While there was infighting in Erode urban also, no defections had taken place and hence the AIADMK state leadership has left the district untouched while bringing about radical changes in the rural unit. (IANS)

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