Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], October 1 (ANI): Tamil Nadu Minister D Jayakumar on Thursday sought to play down reports of differences between Chief Minister E Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, saying that there are no differences between the two.
On reports that Panneerselvam earlier skipped the meeting called by the Chief Minister and met party members, he said, "He is our party organisation coordinator, so what is the problem if he meets party members. There could be many reasons for not attending the Chief Minister's meeting, like meeting medical experts etc. But please don't link it to politics," said the Minister for Fisheries and Administration Reforms.
Some reports said that Panneerselvam had skipped the meeting called by the Chief Minister on Tuesday to review COVID pandemic situation in the state, but met party members.
Earlier, sources told ANI that during the AIADMK's executive party meet on Monday, the discussions for party's Chief Ministerial face was debated for more than five hours with Palaniswami and Panneerselvam in the race.
During the meeting, it was also felt that in case the current Chief Minister was not named as the candidate for the next year's Assembly elections it would make the party and its government in the state a subject of ridicule for the Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
Palaniswami got backing from senior leaders S Semmalai, P Thangamani, CV Shanmugam and Natham R Viswanathan in the meeting.
A top source in the party, who himself was earlier backing Panneerselvam before the merger, told ANI that the debate around the Chief Minister post candidate should be considered settled now with most of the leaders agreeing with the final outcome "as of now" to Palaniswami as a candidate for 2021 elections.
Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam are scheduled to jointly announce the CM candidate's name for the elections scheduled for 2021 on October 7. (ANI)