Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami proved that he had an overwhelming majority in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general council (G.C.) in Chennai on June 23. His competitor O. Panneerselvam, who had very little support in the G.C., made it a point to attend the meeting of the party’s apex decision making body, though he staged a walkout halfway through.
Palaniswami has now made it clear that he has the majority support among the elected members of the AIADMK (MLAs and MPs) and all the elected bodies of the party.
Many more acts in AIADMK’s internal power drama are yet to be enacted as the scene is expected to shift now from the party to the High Court and the Election Commission of India as the Panneerselvam faction has claimed that the conduct of the G.C. was illegal. Panneerselvam was huddled in discussions after he left the G.C. meeting and is expected to make a statement later in the evening.
Soon after the G.C. got underway, C.Ve. Shanmugham, former Minister and AIADMK functionary, declared that the G.C. had rejected all the 23 resolutions that were circulated earlier for passing at the meeting. Later, K.P. Munusamy, the party’s deputy coordinator, also announced that the G.C. had unanimously rejected the 23 resolutions and that the G.C. demanded a unitary leadership.
This meant that neither Palaniswami nor Panneerselvam were confirmed to the positions they were elected to, that of joint coordinator and coordinator respectively. The G.C. declared Tamilmagan Hussain as presidium chairman, but it was unclear if this could be considered as having been conducted as per the provisions of the AIADMK by-laws (since all 23 resolutions were rejected and this was one of the resolutions).
The G.C. also set July 11 as the new date for a fresh general council meeting. Panneerselvam, the party treasurer, did not present the party’s accounts in the G.C., which is a mandatory requirement.
Shanmugham said that the dual leadership had led to a lot of confusion and wanted the G.C. to discuss the need for a single leader. Party senior B. Valarmathi, too, echoed the same view even as Panneerselvam sat expressionless on stage, next to the presidium chairman. The entire party wanted the issue of unitary leadership to be taken up for discussion ahead of any other issue as all the leaders who spoke on the occasion demanded.
R. Vaithilingam, Panneerselvam supporter and former Minister, said that the demands were against the provisions of the AIADMK by-laws.
Unmindful of consequences, Munusamy told mediapersons that in the July 11 G.C. meeting, Palaniswami will be elected the general secretary of the party. He said that a total of 2,190 G.C. members had given a signed memorandum demanding that Palaniswami be elected as the general secretarty.