EPS, OPS continue to hold AIADMK top posts
O Panneerselvam and Edappadi Palaniswami will continue as coordinator and joint-coordinator of the AIADMK in a dual leadership set up as the party on Monday announced that they have been unopposed in the intra-party elections to the top posts as there was no other team of nominees.
“These nominations were scrutinised on Sunday. Since a lone nomination was filed by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami to contest for the post of coordinator and joint coordinator and the nomination is in accordance with party bylaw Rule 2 (II), they are declared elected unopposed,” senior leader and the election commissioner for these elections C Ponnaiyan announced at the AIADMK headquarters in Chennai on Monday amidst huge applause.
A week ago, the AIADMK made a crucial change to the party’s bylaws for the coordinator and joint-coordinator to be elected by the primary cadre where each member casts a single vote for the dual posts. This was also to ensure that the dual leadership solidifies amidst voices calling for a single leadership and to also ensure that expelled leader VK Sasikala finds no space to re-enter either.
With this, the AIADMK is said to face the ensuing urban local body polls under Panneerselvam and Palaniswami. “This election is their last chance,” said political analyst Maalan Narayanan. “It is good that they have strengthened their party internally as they are the principal opposition and a strong opposition is good for democracy.”
TN parties prep for local urban body polls
Meanwhile other regional parties in the state have begun preparing themselves for the elections to urban local bodies expected to be held by January next year which will fill crucial posts of mayors and municipal administrations.
Elections to urban local bodies in Tamil Nadu are being held for the first time in five years – the then AIADMK government conducted elections only for local bodies in rural areas in 2019. This would also be the first state-wide elections since the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) formed the government in May for assembly elections held on April 6. Both DMK and AIADMK have already invited applications from contestants for all posts in the urban local bodies.
The DMK is coming on the back of a huge victory in the rural body polls held in nine newly carved districts in October. So the chief minister MK Stalin-led DMK is hoping to continue their winning streak which is a referendum on the performance of the seven-month-old government in the state.
On Sunday, Stalin addressed a gathering at the DMK party headquarters where new members including those from the AIADMK had joined his party and said that they had secured a 99% victory in the October rural body polls. “I’m aware that you have come with full confidence of winning more than 99% in the upcoming urban local body polls,” Stalin told the crowd. The party is banking on showcasing the government’s achievements so far.
The DMK is also focussing on the western region, the only region which continues to support the AIADMK-led NDA alliance in the state. The AIADMK is likely to come under pressure from its ally BJP over seat sharing in this region while another NDA ally, the PMK has already decided to contest alone. The DMDK-led by actor-politician Vijayankanth quit the NDA alliance before the 2021 polls and joined TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK ahead of the assembly elections and they will also contest alone. Actor-politician Kamal Haasan who was discharged on December 4 following his Covid-19 recovery on Monday released a video urging the cadre of Makkal Needhi Maiam to work towards the upcoming polls.
While Dhinakaran’s AMMK has also been holding meetings to prepare for the elections with an aim to reclaim the parent body of the AIADMK, it remains to be seen what Sasikala, who claims to be AIADMK’s general secretary, next moves would be. On Sunday, she took a pledge with her supporters at late J Jayalalithaa’s memorial on her fifth death anniversary to unite and win future elections.