Power struggle continues in AIADMK ahead of party’s general council meeting on June 23

The power struggle within the All India Anna Dravida Munetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) comes to the limelight once again ahead of the party’s general council meeting which is scheduled for June 23.

The Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) have been seen releasing individual statements on certain issues unlike the norm of sending a joint statement on several occasions in the past one year.

However, these differences and power struggle seemed to have increased in recent days.

On June 14, the seed for the controversy was sown by none other than the AIADMK senior leader D Jayakumar. Speaking to India Today, Jayakumar, said that several of the party functionaries want a single leadership.

“We discussed several issues in the meeting. Singular leadership also came up and many party members were favouring this. Only later will it be decided as to who will be the leader,” Jayakumar said.

 

POWER STRUGGLE

The power struggle within the leadership and Jayakumar’s statement has fueled a poster war in the state since June 15. Posters by supporters rooting for the two leaders surfaced in several parts of the state and in some places there were even protests among EPS-OPS supporters over the removal of some of those posters.

The demand for a single leadership comes ahead of the party’s general council meeting on June 23.

Interestingly, in their GC meeting last year, the party had passed a resolution that former chief minister and party chief J Jayalalithaa would be the permanent general secretary of the AIADMK.

Meanwhile, several senior members of the party have been openly taking sides of either EPS or OPS.

According to sources, both of the senior leaders have also been in touch with different functionaries to gain their support.

On June 16, O Panneerselvam said, “Only Amma is the permanent General Secretary of the party. In the current situation, there is no need for a single leadership. There is already a resolution passed that coordinator and joint coordinator will be chosen by party cadres, which was given to the Election Commission. As EC said to proceed, the election was held and now the General Body was called for it to be conducted.”

In the meeting, OPS had said that there had been no discussion about single leadership between him and Edappadi K Palaniswami, adding that no one could force him to resign from the party’s coordinator position.

However, the demand for single leadership was once again heard from the OPS camp on June 17, a day after OPS’ media interaction.

On the other hand, in an event in Thiruvanammalai where EPS was present, the EPS camp displayed a show of strength.

As the situation remained tense on June 18, OPS joined the Resolution Committee meeting with senior executives and ex-ministers Ponnian ,Vaithilingam ,D. Jayakumar, Vellamandi Natarajan and committee members. Outside the party office, OPS and EPS supporters had gathered in large numbers and had raised slogans in favour of their respective leaders.

GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING TO BE HELD AS SCHEDULED

Meanwhile, senior leader Ponnaiyan said that the upcoming general council meeting on June 23 will be conducted as per schedule.

“No conversation on single or dual leadership was made during the meeting. No party bylaws are to be amended,” Ponnaiyan said.

Deputy coordinator R Vaithilingam also reiterated that the bylaws of the party don’t have a position for single

“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 said

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