Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami will be the new Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, the AIADMK announced on Monday. The decision was announced by the AIADMKâ€™s Twitter handle on Monday ahead of the Assembly session on May 11. AIADMK MLAs had met at the party office on Monday to elect their floor leader and Leader of Opposition.
Three days ago, an AIADMK meet of party MLAs concluded without arriving at a decision on whether coordinator O Panneerselvam or co-coordinator K Palaniswami would be the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly. Fridayâ€™s meeting saw heated exchange between OPS and EPS over who would be Leader of Opposition, with supporters of the former Deputy CM reportedly blaming EPS for the partyâ€™s defeat in the Assembly Elections.
According to sources in the AIADMK, on Friday, O Panneerselvam insisted that there be a â€˜democratic discussionâ€™ on who should be the Leader of Opposition. However, over 60 of the 66 MLAs who won from the AIADMK, were in support of Edappadi Palaniswami becoming the leader and did not want to hold further discussion. This led to further arguments, says sources, which finally came to a conclusion via phone calls over the weekend.
Palaniswami, Chief Minister between 2017 and 2021, had led his party's campaign across Tamil Nadu and was the face of the AIADMK. 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.
An MLA of the main opposition party, after his or her election as leader of the legislature party, would be designated Leader of the Opposition in the House. 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 won 133 constituencies and along with allies, including Congress, garnered 159 segments.
With PTI inputs