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Palaniswami to face tough hurdles in AIADMK politics

Chennai, July 13 (BPNS)

The newly anointed interim general secretary of AIADMK, and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappady K. Palaniswami is facing tough hurdles in the inner-party politics of the party and to bring it ahead as a credible opposition.

The AIADMK in its general council meeting on July 11, Monday had paved the way for the crowning of Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) as its interim general secretary and expelling of his opponent, O. Panneerselvam. With the majority in the general counsel and the support of second-rung leaders, EPS could achieve the feat and expel OPS from the party.

However OPS has moved the Election Commission of India, Madras High Court, and Supreme Court of India against this and has also written to the manager of Karur Vysya Bank, Mylapore branch not to allow anyone from operating the party accounts. The former Chief Minister in his letter written to the manager said that he was still the treasurer of the party and that if anyone else was operating the multiple accounts of the party in the bank, the manager would be held responsible. It is to be noted that the July 11 general council meeting appointed senior party leader, Dindigul C. Sreenivasan as the treasurer.

With the expulsion of OPS, V. K. Sasikala, and TTV Dhinakaran, all from the Thevar community, the party has lost its grip among the traditional supporters, and with Palaniswami being a Gounder, it would be difficult for him to explain the void of these leaders. The Thevar community of South Tamil Nadu has been traditional supporters of the AIADMK and with the expulsion of OPS, the bridge to the community has lost for the party.

Another factor that EPS would face is the approach of the BJP, the ally of AIADMK which has not yet brought out any comment on the expulsion of OPS and the support to EPS. With an assertive leader like former IPS officer, K. Annamalai at the helm of BJP affairs, it will be tough for EPS style of politics to have a comfortable working relationship with the saffron party. It has to be seen whether BJP will throw its weight behind OPS or support EPS in the long run.

If EPS falls to steer AIADMK in turbulent times, then it would be curtains for the legacy of the party which has been either in power or in the opposition and in the limelight of Tamil Nadu politics. The party will have to give a lot of answers to the dedicated cadres who have been its mainstay.

With cases in court and petitions with Election Commission of India, it has to be seen how things are shaping up in AIADMK and whether the opposing factions find a common ground to settle differences.