Bumpy road ahead for Palaniswami as AIADMK chief

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With the expulsion of OPS, V. K. Sasikala, and T.T.V. Dhinakaran, all from the Thevar community, the party has lost its grip among the traditional supporters…reports Asian Lite News

Newly-anointed AIADMK interim general secretary and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappady K. Palaniswami is facing a tough time bringing up the party as a credible opposition amid the internal churn.

In its general council meeting on July 11, the AIADMK had paved the way for the crowning of Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) as its interim general secretary and expelling of his opponent, O. Panneerselvam. With the majority in the general counsel and the support of second-rung leaders, EPS could achieve the feat and expel OPS from the party.

However, OPS has moved the Election Commission of India, Madras High Court, and the Supreme Court against it and has also written to the manager of Karur Vysya Bank, Mylapore branch not to allow anyone from operating the party accounts.

OPS, in his letter to the manager, said that he was still the treasurer of the party and that if anyone else was operating its multiple accounts in the bank, the manager would be held responsible. Notably, the July 11 general council meeting appointed senior party leader Dindigul C. Sreenivasan as the treasurer.

With the expulsion of OPS, V. K. Sasikala, and T.T.V. Dhinakaran, all from the Thevar community, the party has lost its grip among the traditional supporters, and with Palaniswami being a Gounder, it would be difficult for him to explain the void of these leaders.

The Thevar community of South Tamil Nadu has been traditional supporters of the AIADMK and with the expulsion of OPS, the bridge to the community has lost for the party.

Another challange EPS is likley to face is the approach of the BJP, the ally of AIADMK which has not yet brought out any comment on the expulsion of OPS and the support to EPS. With an assertive leader like former IPS officer K. Annamalai at the helm of BJP affairs, it will be tough for EPS style of politics to have a comfortable working relationship with the saffron party. It has to be seen whether BJP will throw its weight behind OPS or support EPS in the long run.

If EPS falls to steer AIADMK in turbulent times, then it would be curtains for the legacy of the party which has been either in power or in the opposition and in the limelight of Tamil Nadu politics. The party will have to give a lot of answers to the dedicated cadres who have been its mainstay.

With cases in court and petitions with Election Commission of India, it has to be seen how things are shaping up in AIADMK and whether the opposing factions find a common ground to settle differences.

I must be made leader, says Sasikala

Expelled AIADMK leader and late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s close aide, V.K. Sasikala on Tuesday said that the post of interim General Secretary created for K. Palaniswami (EPS) is invalid and that she should be made the leader of the party.

She was speaking to reporters at Pudukottai amid her tour across the state to garner support for her re-entry to politics.

Sasikala said that the cadres of the AIADMK must give a fitting response to EPS for having assumed the office of the interim General Secretary by violating party rules. She also said that he does not have any authority to expel O. Panneerselvam (OPS) when his own post is invalid.

She said that the General Council Meeting of July 11 was invalid as “it was convened arbitrarily by people with selfish motives”.

“The wish of the party cadres is that I become the General Secretary and only someone chosen by the cadres can become the party General Secretary.”

She also said that during the period of Jayalalithaa, the party treasurer used to read out the financial statements of the party and in the meeting held “arbitrarily” on July 11, it was not OPS, the party treasurer who had read out the statements, which was not correct. She said that this was another reason to state the General Council meeting was invalid.

The former interim general secretary said that the people of the state and the cadres of the AIADMK are pained at the sealing of the party office and EPS will have to answer this to the party cadre in the days to come.

‘Don’t allow anyone else to operate party account’

AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam (OPS), who was expelled from the party during the General Council meeting on Monday, has shot off a letter to the Karur Vysya Bank manager, seeking anybody else not be to allowed to operate the account of the party as he was still the party Treasurer.

He said that as per the records of the Election Commission, he was the party Coordinator and Treasurer and that the General Council’s decision to appoint Dindigul C. Sreenivasan in his place was not valid.

He said that the matters regarding the developments in the AIADMK were now pending before the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court.

In the letter, OPS said: “In spite of the fact that I am the Treasurer and Coordinator of the AIADMK as per the Election Commission of India records, if you allow any other person other than me to operate the party accounts in the name of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, you will be held responsible for any misuse or misappropriation of accounts.”

He also said that he had been the Treasurer of the AIADMK appointed by the late Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa for the past several years and the Coordinator of the party since 2017.

He said that he has been operating three accounts of the party including the building fund and development fund and several other fixed deposits in the name of AIADMK in his capacity as Treasurer of the party.

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