The power struggle between AIADMK leaders Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and O Panneerselvam (OPS) has come to the fore once again with meetings being held on behalf of both sides leaving cadres of the Tamil Nadu party in a fix.
After former minister D Jayakumar told the media Wednesday that during the meeting of the district secretaries and other functionaries at the AIADMK headquarters, there were discussions about the single leadership and many of them favoured that, posters rooting for the two leaders surfaced in several parts of the state. Incidents of people protesting on the road for the removal of some of these posters also took place.
While supporters of OPS hailed him as later party leader J Jayalalithaa’s political heir and stuck posters supporting him, EPS loyalists claimed that he is the choice of 1.5 crore AIADMK cadres and unitary leadership can be the only solution.
While it is to be noted that a resolution was passed in the party’s previous general council meeting that former chief minister Jayalalithaa would be the permanent general secretary of the AIADMK, the cadres had been rooting for EPS and OPS as the next general secretary.
Senior leaders visiting OPS and EPS individually and holding meetings to decide who should be the chief of the party has taken back the state’s political clock a few years when the AIADMK was in turmoil with both the leaders standing against each other.
While senior leaders of AIADMK restrained from airing their opinion on the big question about their top leader, few exhibited their stand.
Former minister Dindigul Srinivasan told reporters that the deliberations are going without any hindrance and added that his support would be for EPS.
The AIADMK’s deputy coordinator R Vaithilingam and J C D Prabhakar held discussions with OPS on Wednesday and ruled out the single leadership and said the discussions they had were mostly regarding the welfare of the party
When asked about social media posts projecting Edappadi as the next general secretary of the AIADMK, Vaithilingam said, “No one can become the general secretary of the party, there is no space for that as per the law. Reports like this are not good for the growth of the party.”
Vaithilingam also brushed aside Jayakumar’s comment that the majority of the functionaries have mooted for single leadership, saying that those are his own views and it will always be dual leadership in the party.
The principal opposition party in Tamil Nadu has convened a meeting of its general council and executive committee on June 23 to discuss several crucial issues confronting the party and the latest political developments.
Former MLA B Valarmathi said they are holding discussions to pass a resolution in the general council meeting demanding a single leadership. She said if the AIADMK has to be there for another 100 years as Jayalalithaa wanted it to, the party has to have a single leader who would be accepted by its cadre as well as the public.
Meanwhile, Panneerselvam took to Twitter and asked his party cadres to remain calm.