Rajya Sabha MP TKS Elangovan was relieved of the post of secretary, public relations, a party jargon that denotes the position of spokesperson, DMK said on Monday.
The main Tamilnadu opposition party DMK , however, did not assign any reason for relieving him from the position he has been holding for quite some time now.
According to news reports, Elangovan in an interview to news channels commented on the invitees for a proposed unveiling of the late DMK President M Karunanidhi’s statue.
Elangovan mentioned that the Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam of the ruling AIADMK will not be invited for the event.
He further went on to explain his stance by saying that the DMK was never invited for the birth centenary celebrations of former CM MG Ramachandran.
He added, “It is not a norm to invite AIADMK leaders. We have always invited allied parties,” reports stated. Elangovan’s comment was not in line with DMK which may have led to his removal, party sources stated.
A release by DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan merely stated that Elangovan was “relieved from the responsibility of secretary, public relations”.
The move comes hours after the party named him part of a seven-member panel authorised to give interviews to the media.
On October 13, the DMK had also named Elangovan first in a list of 23 members authorised to take part in television discussions and he was also part of a three-member “public relations committee”.
A source close to Stalin said that an official decision on who will be invited had not been taken, and therefore TKS Elangovan had jumped the gun. According to him, there have been other instances in the recent past where TKS had commented on crucial issues like Alagiri’s rebellion and not stuck to the official party line.
The source also added that a meeting had been organised at the DMK headquarters three days ago in which the newly-appointed spokespersons were asked not to ‘speak out of turn’.
Soon-to-be faced with two assembly by-polls and Lok Sabha elections in what has been a multi-year electoral dry spell for the DMK, Stalin seems to be sending senior party leaders the message that they must fall in line with his leadership.
Ousting a senior member like TKS Elangovan as spokesperson also comes at a time when Stalin is said to be bolstering his image within the party, picking his lot of the district functionaries and surrounding himself with loyalists. Curiously though, former AIADMK chief late J Jayalalithaa also had the penchant for removing people from posts in the party quite often, regardless of their seniority.
Party sources indicated that it was part of a “streamlining exercise” to liaison with the media. However this style of operation with out seeking explanation / issuing show cause notice is new to DMK culture says Political onlookers