COIMBATORE: Rejecting the calls for integration of AIADMK splinter groups, party general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami said in Coimbatore on Thursday that the party has got more votes in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections than in 2019.
“The party is strong. We have secured more votes than what we got in the last elections. Whereas, what have those who parted ways with us got this time,” he asked.
EPS also disregarded the newly floated ‘AIADMK Integration Committee’ and questioned the credentials of the committee members.“Is that a committee? Who are they? I cannot respond to each,” he said. The committee was formed by V Pugazhendhi, K C Palaniswamy and J C D Prabhakar, all former AIADMK leaders, who were ousted or parted ways with EPS after the demise of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
They floated the committee in the wake of AIADMK’s drubbing in the LS polls and stated that their objective was to unify all those who split from AIADMK and make the party stronger.
“After they left us, we have grown stronger,” EPS said.
He also dismissed the charge that the LS poll defeat necessitated unification of the factions. “First, do not call this a defeat. We have increased our vote share,” EPS said.
Reeling out statistics, EPS said DMK’s vote share has come down from 33.5% in 2019 to 26.9% now. There is a drop in BJP front’s vote share too, whereas AIADMK has seen a surge, he said. “But there is a false campaign launched to project that AIADMK has suffered severe drubbing. It’s not true,” he said.
EPS said the one per cent increase in AIADMK’s vote share was achieved despite DMK and BJP fronts fielding several star campaigners.
EPS also pointed out that TN people would vote differently for Lok Sabha and assembly elections. “Hence, we will win more seats in the 2026 assembly elections and capture power,” he said.
On Vikravandi byelection, he said the party’s decision would be announced soon.