The ruling AIADMK today expelled over 150 dissidents from the party in the wake of its loss in the December 21 RK Nagar Assembly bypoll, for bringing ‘disrepute’ to the organisation. Former Minister G Senthamizhan and senior leader Parithi Ilamvazhuthi were among the 150-odd office-bearers of the party’s South Chennai (South) and Cuddalore West units who were booted out by AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and co-coordinator K Palaniswami. While Senthamizhan was a Minister for a short period in the 2011-16 AIADMK rule, Ilamvazhuthi is a former DMK Minister who joined the ruling party in 2013. Both Senthamizhan and Ilamvazhuthi are supporters of sidelined party leader TTV Dhinakaran, who won the December 21 RK Nagar bypoll, necessitated due to the death of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016. In a joint statement, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami said the action was being taken against the partymen for “acting in contravention to the party’s policies and ideals,” and for “bringing disrepute” to it.
They were being expelled from all their present posts, besides from AIADMK’s primary membership, the two leaders said. They asked the party workers not to have any truck with the expelled members. Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, who merged the factions led by them in August, 2017, had last month warned of action against those going against the party line, following the AIADMK’s loss in the RK Nagar bypoll, which was won by Dhinakaran. The duo had earlier expelled a number of functionaries, while stripping some of Dhinakaran’s key aides of party posts.