AIADMK meet: Cheer for Palaniswami leads to Panneerselvam walkout

The AIADMK general council meeting on Thursday further deepened the divide between E Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam.

ByUmar Sharieef

Published Jun 23, 2022 | 8:25 PMUpdatedJul 22, 2022 | 11:34 AM

AIADMK supporters gathered at the entrance of the private marriage hall where the general council meeting was held

AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam walked out of the party’s general council meeting on Thursday, 23 June, after supporters of the party’s joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami raised slogans in his favour.

Panneerselvam, who was sitting on the dais as the sloganeering happened during Palaniswami’s entry to the meeting at Vanagaram near Chennai, signalled another senior party leader, R Vaithilingam, before staging his walkout.

Vaithiyalingam said, “We are staging a walkout from this meeting as it is happening against the law.”

AIADMK divided?

Meanwhile, senior AIADMK leaders told South First that none of the 23 resolutions presented at the meeting was passed by the general council.

“All the general council members rejected all 23 resolutions,” AIADMK deputy coordinator KP Munuswamy confirmed.

One reason given was that a division bench of Madras High Court had restrained the party from taking any decision on unitary leadership.

A 12-member committee from the party drafted these resolutions. However, it is unclear what they are

Apparently, the next meeting — dated for 11 July — would take a decision on them, along with the issue of single leadership.

Palaniswami could become the AIADMK’s general secretary if the resolution on amending the party bylaws is adopted. He is currently the Opposition leader and joint coordinator of the party.

EPS and his supporters, including most of the former ministers of AIADMK, want single leadership. But, OPS bats for dual leadership.

EPS, the permanent general secretary?

Edappadi Palaniswami supporters raised slogans supporting him during the general council meeting.

Edappadi Palaniswami supporters raised slogans supporting him during the general council meeting. (The South First/Umar Sharieef)

Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters who were gathered at the venue welcomed EPS by showering flowers on his vehicle and demanding that he be made general secretary.

“Long live, brother Edappadiyar, the king of Salem. Long live Tamil Nadu’s pride, brother Edapaddiyar. Long live the only believer of Amma (Jayalalithaa), brother Edappadiyar,” said the supporters.

One of Palaniswami’s supporters told South First, “We don’t want O Panneerselvam to be in the party itself. We don’t want him to hold any posting. He has made many mistakes and wouldn’t be the correct fit if this dual leadership continues.”

He added: “We want our brother Palaniswami to lead the party. Single leadership will only help AIADMK. Only Edappadi can make it happen.”

Former minister D Jayakumar, while addressing the meeting, once again reiterated his stand on single leadership. “I welcome single leadership for the party. I accept Edappadi Palaniswami to take over the post,” he said.

The issue of single leadership first popped up in 2017, when the AIADMK passed a resolution in the general council meeting declaring then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa the party’s permanent secretary and introduced the dual-leadership system to run the party after her demise.