AIADMK leader back in limelight, appointed political advisor

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Chennai, Jan 28 (UNI) The AIADMK will have a political advisor for the first time, in former Minister C Ponnaiyan who has been given political resurrection by party General Secretary and supremo J Jayalalithaa after they fell a part before the 2006 Assembly election.

Ms Jayalalithaa made the surprise announcement in the run up to the AIADMK General Council and State Executive scheduled for February 13.

The appointment of Mr Ponnaiyan, who was the Finance Minister in the previous Jayalalithaa regime, had come as a big surprise in political circles as he fell out of her favour and was denied ticket in the 2006 Assembly elections. He had since been lying low.

This could be the third innings for Mr Ponnaiyan in politics as he had almost quit active politics after AIADMK's debacle in the last Assembly elections.

His 'home-coming' comes amid reports that he was being wooed by actor- politician Vijayakant to join his DMDK.

Honouring Mr Ponnaiyan, an MGR loyalist who served in his Cabinet, with the new post was also seen as an attempt to keep the AIADMK loyalists in good humour, especially after leaders like Mr Vijayakant and Mr Sarat Kumar started claiming the legacy of the AIADMK founder (MGR).

Mr Ponnaiyan had allegedly given wrong advice to Ms Jayalalithaa on crucial issues like the State Government employees strike. The arrest of the employees during the Jayalalithaa regime cost her dearly in both the 2004 Lok Sabha and 2006 Assembly elections.

The new post for Mr Ponnaiyan, who had been in political wilderness, marks another beginning for the former Minister.

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