Chief Minister K Palaniswami
Chennai: There is a dip of about 40 lakh members for the ruling AIADMK as the count fell from 1.5 crore during late J Jayalalithaa's tenure as party chief to 1,10,41,600 now, a recent membership enrolment drive has revealed.
Chief Minister and party co-coordinator K Palaniswami, however, said in about six months 50 lakh more members -including new members and renewals- will be added taking the membership count beyond 1.5 crore.
The AIADMK held its membership enrolment drive, aimed at renewal of membership and enrolling new members, between March 1 to May 31 this year, the first such exercise after the death of former party supremo Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016.
Those who had submitted their renewal/new membership aplications during the stipuated period were given membership cards at the AIADMK headquarters Thursday.
Party coordinator and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, Palaniswami, party presidium chairman E Madusudanan and other senior leaders participated.
"In a short time, 1,10,41,600 members have been enrolled.In about five years time, when Puratchi Thalaivi Amma was alive 1.50 crore members were enrolled," Palaniswami said.
The chief minister said "I am happy to convey to you that in about six months time, 50 lakh more members will be enrolled," adding it would take the count beyond the 1.50 crore mark during Amma's times.
"The general public and the youth have so much love for the AIADMK," Palaniswami said.
Panneerselvam said the enrolment of 1.10 crore members in about "90 days is a historic achivement."
Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam praised Jayalalithaa and her mentor and party founder M G Ramachandran for their "sacrifices" in building the AIADMK and leaving it as a fortress.
Palaniswami said the party was fulfilling the goals of the two leaders to serve the people by overcoming the "conspiracies of conspirators," an apparent reference to Sasikala--Jayalalithaa's aide, now in a Bengaluru prison after being convicted in an assets case, and her relatives.
Party deputy coordinator K P Munusamy and senior leader D Jayakumar reiterated that Sasikala was no longer in the party following her removal last year.