AIADMK defers decision on Leader of Opposition

A few instances of commotion between the supporters of Palaniswami and Panneerselvam were reported at the party headquarters and at the Jayalalithaa memorial on Friday.
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An AIADMK-meet of the newly elected party MLAs on Friday ended in Chennai without arriving at a decision on who, coordinator O Panneerselvam or co-coordinator K Palaniswami should be the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. The party has also scheduled another meeting of the MLAs on May 10.

Senior leader and former Minister D Jayakumar, emerging out of the party headquarters following the meet, ruled out any 'confusion' and asserted that an 'unanimous' decision would be reached 'another day' on the question of the LoP. This was after a few instances of commotion between the supporters of the two leaders in front of the party headquarters and at the Jayalalithaa memorial later on Friday night.

Reportedly, a consensus on the matter has been eluding the party top brass ever since the results to the Assembly polls were declared on May 2. Jayakumar, who lost the Assembly polls from Royapuram constituency here, told reporters that it was decided in the meet to continue to work for the people's welfare as before and now in the role of the main opposition party.

He accused DMK workers of resorting to 'unruly' acts even before the party officially assumed power in Tamil Nadu.

Though the meeting scheduled on May 10 did not specify the agenda, the party is expected to again deliberate on whether Panneerselvam or Palaniswami should be the leader of the opposition in the House. Palaniswami, Chief Minister between 2017 and 2021, had led his party's campaign across Tamil Nadu.

In the 2006 Assembly polls, when AIADMK lost power, Panneerselvam was the leader of opposition for a very short period and then, party supremo Jayalalithaa became the LoP. Panneerselvam later functioned as deputy leader.

The AIADMK won 66 segments out of the 234 in the Assembly and its allies, the PMK and BJP, in five and four seats respectively. Together, the opposition bloc has 75 MLAs. The DMK, meanwhile, won 133 constituencies and along with allies, including Congress, garnered 159 segments.

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