Thevar community in TN for alliance between OPS, Sasikala
Chennai, March 22 The powerful Thevar community of Tamil Nadu is in favour of an alliance between deposed coordinator of AIADMK and former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam (OPS)and expelled former interim general secretary of the party V.K. Sasikala ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Both OPS and Sasikala belong to the community.
Notably, the only MP for the AIADMK from Tamil Nadu is O.P. Raveendranathan from Theni constituency who is also the son of OPS. The Thevar community calls the shots in South Tamil Nadu and has been a traditional vote bank of the AIADMK in the state.
Sources in the Thevar community told IANS that the community elders have met Sasikala and OPS separately twice since February 2023 and a joint meeting was held in March. The Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) general secretary and nephew of Sasikala, T.T.V. Dhinakaran was also a party to the meetings.
It may be recalled that in the 2021 Assembly elections AMMK candidates garnered more than 6 per cent votes in South Tamil Nadu leading to crushing defeats to several AIADMK candidates.
With the fight between Edappadi K.Palaniswami (EPS) and OPS reaching a point of no return, the Thevar elders want political representation for the community and hence are trying to work out for the gain of OPS.
Dr Senthamil Viswanathan, Social scientist and an expert on Thevar community while speaking to IANS underlined, “Thevars are a fierce and powerful community and they have been a traditional vote bank for the AIADMK. There is a general feeling in the community that two of their most towering leaders OPS and VK Sasikala have been sidelined. This has given rise to a vengeance and it has to be seen as to where this will end. One thing is certain, the community cannot be cowed down.”
With the possibility of a rapprochement between EPS and OPS bleak and EPS being a Gounder, the Thevar community will be trying for an alternative solution to this. The possibility of AMMK getting into the NDA alliance with OPs heading the party is one of the solutions being worked out and this could be a win-win situation for the saffron party as well with AIADMK also in the fold.
However, OPS is yet to open his stand on this band being an all powerful leader of the AIADMK, it has to be seen whether he could be accommodated in a smaller entity like AMMK.
With hardly one year left for the 2024 general elections, the political parties are into chalking out strategies and formulations for winning the polls.