AIADMK leaders O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami exempted from appearing in trial court in a defamation case (PTI photo)
Chennai: AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam (OPS) on Wednesday resigned himself to the fact that the odds were stacked against him ahead of the June 23 party meeting in which joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) was named the single, supreme party. expected to favor. Post.
In another blow to the OPS, the police refused to entertain their plea for refusing to allow the general and executive council meetings of the party to be held in Chennai on Thursday. It is expected that the EPS will be named as the top leader in the meeting, as he enjoys huge support, and has been aptly named.
Panneerselvam tweeted that “religion will win again” while the Madras High Court is hearing arguments in favor of and opposition (EPS and OPS factions, respectively) for allowing change of leadership at the crucial meeting.
The late party chief, J Jayalalithaa was declared AIADMK’s eternal general secretary in 2017 to honor her memory and the party had then announced that no one else would be brought to the post. OPS’s ‘religion’ comment seems to be a sign that he has begun to reconcile himself with the fact that, as of now, his rival EPS has the upper hand in the party and needs Panneerselvam to reclaim his rightful position. Whatever needs to be done, he will do. Celebration.
The options being explored by the OPS camp include approaching the Election Commission at the right time for intervention. With regard to the dual structure of the party leadership (led by the OPS and the EPS), petitions have been filed in a city court seeking intervention to maintain the status quo.
Panneerselvam, expressing displeasure over a supporter attempting self-immolation, appealed to the activists not to resort to such extreme measures. He cited a popular Tamil phrase, which can be roughly translated as “Dharma may be surrounded by a cunning trick, but Dharma will eventually prevail.” The OPS alleged that the AIADMK now has an autocratic and unruly attitude, apparently targeting the EPS, who had targeted them on Tuesday. Without explicitly naming the OPS, Palaniswami had said that some people were trying to weaken the party.
Responding to Panneerselvam, senior party leader D Jayakumar of the Palaniswami camp denied that the organization was autocratic and was a democratic one. He also accused Panneerselvam of making “mistakes after mistakes”.
Many well-known OPS supporters like Deputy Secretary KP Munusamy and former minister K Pandiarajan have joined the EPS camp, which is heavily backed by stalwarts like Dindigul Srinivasan and KA Sengottaiyan. Whatever support the OPS had, it has seen a steady decline since June 14, when the demand for a single leadership first emerged.
At present, less than 10 of the 75 secretaries of party districts, a group of office-bearers, including district secretary and deputy secretary R Vaithilingam, are supporting Panneerselvam, apart from general party workers.
A three-time Rajya Sabha MP and well-known face of the AIADMK in Delhi, V Maitreyan was one of the OPS supporters to switch loyalties and move towards Palaniswami.
Talking to reporters after meeting Palaniswami here and extending his support to him, Maitreyan, whose last term in the Upper House ended in 2019, said a strong and determined leadership was the need of the hour.
He said such a leadership structure is a “single leadership” and Edappadi K Palaniswami is a leader who has all the necessary capabilities to run the party.
An overwhelming majority of party office-bearers, general council members, ‘about 95 percent’ are in favor of the EPS for the highest position in the party. He said that he decided to support the EPS keeping in mind the welfare and interests of the party to bring back the AIADMK rule.
Strengthening unity and AIADMK, party veteran and former mayor of Chennai ‘Saidai’ Duraisamy has also forged an alliance with the EPS. The EPS is currently the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, while Panneerselvam is the Deputy Leader.
The meeting is expected to accept 23 proposals and draft copies have been made available to the OPS. Meanwhile, his supporters gathered at the memorial of late AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and raised slogans in support of their leader. At the same time, he demanded that the EPS camp drop the single leadership resolution and postpone the general and executive meetings.
Adequate number of police personnel were deployed in and around the hall in suburban Vanagaram where the AIADMK meeting is to be convened besides his memorial.