Dual leadership in AIADMK ceased to exist: Shanmugam

Published on Jun 25, 2022 12:45 AM IST

Former law minister and Rajya Sabha MP C Ve Shanmugam on Friday said the tenure of O Panneerselvam (OPS) as coordinator and Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) as joint coordinator ceased to exist on Thursday when the AIADMK’s general council did not pass a resolution of the December 2021 election of their dual leadership.

Former law minister and Rajya Sabha MP C Ve Shanmugam on Friday said the tenure of O Panneerselvam as coordinator and Edappadi Palaniswami as joint coordinator ceased to exist on Thursday. (PTI)
Former law minister and Rajya Sabha MP C Ve Shanmugam on Friday said the tenure of O Panneerselvam as coordinator and Edappadi Palaniswami as joint coordinator ceased to exist on Thursday. (PTI)
By, Chennai

Former law minister and Rajya Sabha MP C Ve Shanmugam on Friday said the tenure of O Panneerselvam (OPS) as coordinator and Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) as joint coordinator ceased to exist on Thursday when the AIADMK’s general council did not pass a resolution of the December 2021 election of their dual leadership.

A day after the AIADMK’s general council meeting which only stopped short of coronating Palaniswami, where the 2000-odd members booed Panneerselvam, who walked out with his handful of supporters, the latter is in Delhi and attended the NDA’s Presidential candidate’s nomination.

The speculation is rife that Panneerselvam will approach the election commission to complain that the announced by the newly elected presidium chairman Tamilmagan Hussain that the next general council meeting will be held on July 11 with the unitary leadership as the agency without his approval is against the party’s constitution. But Panneerselvam’s camp has refuted this as rumours.

Shanmugam, who belongs to the EPS camp, said since the dual leadership positions have ceased to exist, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami are at present treasurer and headquarters secretary of the AIADMK, respectively. “So, it’s valid for the presidium chairman to call for the next AIADMK general council on July 11,” Shanmugam said. “And according to party constitution one fifth of the general council can seek a meeting.”

After the AIADMK’s executive council approved an amended to the party’s by laws 1 December, 2021 to elect the coordinator and joint coordinator by a single vote by primary members, it had solidified OPS and EPS’ positions – which is what the OPS camp has been repeatedly referring to say that he cannot be just removed to move towards a unitary leadership.

And that is the resolution which the EPS camp is now saying was not tabled at the general council meeting on Thursday when Shanmugam had announced that they were rejecting all the 23 resolutions. “They (OPS camp) forgot about it. Even if it was tabled, we would have rejected it. Since the resolution was not tabled, the dual leadership has ceased to exist since Thursday,” Shanmugam said. He was flanked by former ministers and senior leaders from EPS camp.

This makes it clear that the EPS camp is in no mood for talks and will go ahead with naming and electing Palaniswami as their leader at the July 11 general council meeting. The OPS camp sought to know how the remaining general council members can hold their posts when the dual leadership as they claim has ceased to exist.

“The seniors and committee members have sided with EPS but the cadre are still firmly behind OPS,” a veteran AIADMK leader, who belongs to the OPS camp, said seeking anonymity.

Political analyst Maalan Narayan said though it is clear that the EPS camp will use its brute majority to push through aspects in his favour they are still leaving some room for OPS. “The court only said that they cannot move any resolution amending the bylaws. So, if they wanted to, they could have discussed EPS as the next single leader during the general council meeting itself and passed a resolution in the next. I see this as them still open to working out a compromise formula with OPS,” said Narayan.

“Because after EPS is elected, the next thing for AIADMK to think about would be losing the support of the Thevars (community to which OPS and VK Sasikala belong) which may go to TTV Dhinakaran,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master's in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

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