After intense deliberation for over a week, the AIADMK has chosen its Chief Ministerial candidate. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami will officially be the face of the party in the upcoming elections in 2021.
O Paneerselvam, who is coordinator of the AIADMK, announced Edappadi Palaniswami as the CM candidate for the Assembly Elections on Wednesday.
Palaniswami, who is the joint coordinator of the party announced the formation of a steering committee, which has been O Panneerselvamâ€™s consistent demand. EPS on Wednesday announced that the 11-member steering committee will have Dindigul Sreenivasan, Thangamani, Velumani, D Jayakumar, C Ve Shanmugam, Kamaraj, JCD Prabakaran, Manoj Pandian, Mohan, Gopalakrishnan, Manickam. The committee does not have not a single woman.
The announcements were made at the party headquarters in Chennai on Wednesday. Scores of party workers had crowded the party office on Wednesday morning in anticipation of the announcement, breaking physical distancing norms in the wake of the pandemic.
On September 28, the party had held an executive meeting with senior leaders to discuss party matters. During the interaction Deputy CM OPS claimed that he should be the party's CM candidate as he had been chosen by former CM J Jayalalithaa to take over the position in her absence. He pointed out that EPS had been chosen by VK Sasikala, the former general secretary who has been shunned by the party.
EPS, however, stated that they had both been chosen by Sasikala, according to sources, and argued that he had served well as a Chief Minister and even handled the pandemic well. With the leaders not arriving at a conclusion, presidium chairman E Madhusudhanan stated that a final decision on a CM candidate will be taken on October 7.
Following this, hectic parleys took place between senior ministers and the CM and Deputy CM.
During the discussions, according to sources, OPS insisted on the formation of a steering committee that will help take decisions for the party. While EPS was initially opposed to creating two different power centres in the party, he is said to have finally conceded.
With the friction between the top leaders in the party out in the open, it was seen as an advantage for the DMK which has a clear candidate for the CM race. With this announcement made, however, AIADMK sources say the party can unitedly work towards a single goal.
Tamil Nadu will go to Assembly polls in 2021.