AIADMK tussle: OPS wants to postpone general council meet, EPS faction opposes move

The general council with nearly 2600 members is the highest decision-making body within the party, and will likely make a crucial decision regarding single-leadership in the AIADMK.
EPS and OPS addressing media
EPS and OPS addressing media
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Amid the stalemate over the AIADMK leadership issue and the approaching party general council meeting, O Panneerselvam has asked for the party meeting scheduled for June 23 to be postponed. However, party deputy coordinator KP Munusamy has announced that the meeting will be held as planned on June 23, and he has also invited all the district secretaries and party officials for the same.

Earlier on Monday morning, AIADMK co-ordinator O Paneerselvam and deputy coordinator R Vaithiyalingam wrote a letter to the party’s joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami seeking to cancel the general council meeting scheduled for June 23, stating that several party functionaries had not received the agenda for the meeting. “Legal experts recommend that the meeting agenda should be determined prior to the meeting. Considering the above situations and the interest of the party, deputy coordinator Vaithilingam and I, the coordinator of AIADMK, therefore announce that the general council meeting that was planned to take place on June 23, shall be postponed. The date, venue, and time for the meeting can be announced after we discuss the matter,” they said in the letter dated Monday, June 20.

Meanwhile, KP Munusamy, in a press meet held the same afternoon, said that a letter regarding the meeting had already been sent to all the party members and functionaries, and so the meeting will be held without fail. Further, a case filed by a Dindigul-based party worker Suryamoorthy seeking to stall the general council meeting is to be heard by a court in Chennai on Monday afternoon.

Demands have been raised within the party for ‘single leadership’ rather than have both EPS and OPS at the helm. So far, the arrangement was that EPS was the opposition leader and OPS was the party’s Chief Co-ordinator. In addition to the opposition leader post, Edappadi was also the party’s co-coordinator, making it a dual leadership for the party.

An AIADMK leader told TNM that EPS thinks this was the right time to take over the party, as more party functionaries are backing him. However, this poses a problem as OPS does not want to give up the top post. So, the senior leader said that the only solution is either to defer the general council elections or drop the single leadership demand.

The issue was reignited when former minister D Jayakumar stated in a press meet on June 15, that the demand for single leadership was put forth in a district secretary meeting. This received flak from several quarters, with OPS saying that the person who raised the demand should be the one to resolve the issue.

"The comment (about single leadership) was expressed at a district secretary meeting and it should have been discussed at the headquarters or at a functionaries meeting. But it was openly said in a press meet and the ruckus is the result of that press meet,” he said. Jayakumar, meanwhile, maintained that it was usual for party leaders to express their views during press meets.

The general council meeting becomes important as the 2,600-member council is the highest decision-making body within the party, and their decision becomes crucial in deciding who becomes the party leader. "In the event of a special resolution being moved at the meeting with the consent of the praesidium chairman, and approved by a majority, the party is likely to retain only one post which could be the coordinator or it could be aptly renamed," an AIADMK leader told PTI.

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