AIADMK power tussle: Madras HC set to deliver verdict on OPS vs EPS battle
The AIADMK has been embroiled in significant intra-party debate over the subject of single-leadership since last month, and Palaniswami has the support of an overwhelming majority, while Panneerselvam has been marginalised in the party.
The Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Council (GC) will meet today to select the party's future leadership structure. While O Panneerselvam was twice chosen as J Jayalalithaa's stand-in-chief minister and is now suffering dwindling support, Edappadi K Palaniswami has garnered overwhelming popularity among party workers.
The Madras High Court is due to rule on a petition against holding the conference on Monday morning, even though all preparations are being made to host it on the premises of a marriage hall on the city's outskirts. Justice Krishnan Ramaswamy reserved the orders, which are likely to be handed around 9 a.m. on Monday, and the GC meeting is scheduled to begin at 9.15 a.m.
O Panneerselvam, or OPS, and Edappadi K Palaniswami, or EPS, have been at odds for months over how the party should be run, with the former advocating for the present joint leadership arrangement and the latter advocating for single leadership with himself as the party General Secretary.
The GC meeting may decide to dismiss Panneerselvam as treasurer since he has "failed" to fulfil his obligations. According to reports, Panneerselvam is planning to miss the meeting and instead meet with supporters at his Greenways Road home. With the OPS camp vehemently opposing the meeting to select Palaniswami as the top leader, the party has built entrance control equipment such as flap barriers and turnstiles to admit only permitted personnel with access cards, a first for any political organisation in Tamil Nadu.
To host the event and accommodate around 3,000 functionaries, a vast open space on the property has been tin-roofed. A large dais, roughly 80 feet long and 40 feet wide, is planned to host top officials. The entire premise is covered in photographs of party stalwarts M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, with Palaniswami's image intermingled. The entire neighbourhood was decked out in celebratory garb, and Palaniswami is expected to be greeted with pomp and circumstance upon his arrival for the meeting.
The AIADMK has been embroiled in significant intra-party debate over the subject of single-leadership since last month, and Palaniswami has the support of an overwhelming majority, while Panneerselvam has been marginalised in the party. The AIADMK is anticipated to take action against Panneerselvam soon.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court allowed Team EPS to proceed with the meeting in accordance with the law, but Team OPS contended that the meeting's behaviour was technically unlawful and hence void. According to the bylaws, only the Coordinator and Joint Coordinator are authorised to call the meeting.