The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Council Saturday passed a resolution endorsing Edappadi K Palaniswami as the party’s chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Tamil Nadu elections. It also gave authority to both Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister and party coordinator O Pannerselvam to formulate electoral strategies, including alliances and seat distribution.
During the meeting, 16 resolutions were adopted by the council, most of which focused on helping the AIADMK retain power in Tamil Nadu. The council approved constitution of a 11-member steering committee to guide the party; appealed to the Centre not to discard the provincial council system in Sri Lanka; condemned DMK leader M K Stalin for criticising Palaniswami and said they would work hard to defeat dynasty politics and uphold democracy.
The council also thanked Palaniswami and the Centre for announcing free Covid-19 vaccines, and congratulated the EPS-led government for attracting foreign investment and providing job opportunities; allocating Rs 600 crore for cyclone relief; setting up a fund to financially help NEET-qualified government students; setting up 2,000 mini-clinics across the state; and regulating 20 per cent reservation quota in government jobs.
Apart from Palaniswami, Pannerselvam and the cabinet ministers, close to 4,000 functionaries participated in the mega event at Vanagaram, situated in the suburbs of Chennai.
The meeting, which was scheduled to begin around 8.30 am, commenced a couple of hours later due to heavy traffic. All roads leading to the venue were filled with AIADMK banners and flagpoles despite the Madras High Court’s repeated warnings not to erect such notices as they pose a threat to road users.
The meeting began with Palaniswami and Pannerselvam paying floral tributes to former TN chief ministers M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. A minute of silence was observed in memory of the AIADMK leaders who recently passed away.
Some political observers had believed the party high command would address the Sasikala factor during the meeting, as she is scheduled to be likely released from jail by January 27. However, there was no mention of the former AIADMK general secretary.
During the meeting, senior leaders heaping praise on both EPS and OPS. Former AIADMK Minister B Valarmathi said EPS and OPS are safeguarding the party like Ram and Lakshman, while AIADMK MLA Pollachi Jayaraman went a step ahead and called EPS as Tamil Nadu’s “Abraham Lincoln”.
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