Tamil Nadu

AIADMK decides to retain dual leadership

AIADMK leaders greet Tamilmagan Hussain on his appointment as interim presidium chairman of the party on December 1, 2021. Photo: Special Arrangement  

In a significant development reinforcing the AIADMK’s ‘dual leadership’ concept, the party’s executive on Wednesday decided to allow all primary members to elect candidates by a ‘single vote’ for the top posts of coordinator and co-coordinator.

The posts are now held by former Chief Ministers O. Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami respectively. Until now, members of the general council alone had been permitted to take part in the process. This came about after the general council, in September 2017, approved an amendment to the Rule 20, which dealt with the post of general secretary. The party had also decided then to create the posts of coordinator and co-coordinator in place of the general secretary.


Wednesday’s decision marked the return of the mode of election for the general secretary which was in effect when M.G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa were at the helm.

The executive, which met for about 90 minutes at the party headquarters, decided that the election for the two posts be held through a single vote. It also decided that the condition for the new mode of election was beyond any amendment. Mr. Panneerselvam, Mr. Palaniswami and deputy coordinators K.P. Munusamy and R. Vaithilingam were among those present at the meeting. Out of 270 members, 258 took part at the meeting.

All the changes were incorporated in a resolution, which was passed by the executive. They would have to be ratified by the general council, which was expected to meet shortly.

Interim chairman

Earlier, Tamilmagan Hussain, secretary of the MGR Mandrams and former chairperson of the Wakf Board, was appointed interim chairman of the presidium. The post fell vacant after the death of E. Madhusudanan four months ago. Mr. Hussain’s appointment took place, almost 12 hours after the party expelled former Ramanathapuram MP A. Anwhar Raajhaa.

A senior functionary felt that the change in the mode of election would strengthen the hands of Mr. Panneerselvam as the possibility of his getting removed through a majority of the members of the general council was eliminated. It also signalled that no section of the party could use the general council to elect anyone for the post of coordinator or co-coordinator.

A perusal of the data on the number of persons who had filed affidavits before the Election Commission in 2017 at the time of the split reveals that the strength of the group in which Mr. Palaniswami was originally present was 1,912 out of 2,128, as on March 2017. Six months later, after Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam came together, there were 1,877 members on their side. Sources explain that since then, there have been restructuring of the party units, increasing the number of general council members by around 1,000.

Another office-bearer, not concurring with his colleague’s view, said the single vote system meant Mr. Panneerselvam and Mr. Palaniswami would continue to sail together. “There is every chance of the two getting elected unopposed when the organisational elections take place,” he said. The amendments, he added, had been made because the extension of time, granted by the Election Commission for the inner party elections, would expire by this month-end.

A former Minister said the takeaway was that “a sense of bonhomie was evident” between the coordinator and the co-coordinator. He pointed out that the two leaders recalled how each consoled the other at the time of bereavement in their families. “This should logically lend more cohesion to the party...,” the former Minister said.

Among the 11 other resolutions adopted was a call to the workers to remain united and strive for the party’s success in the forthcoming elections, including those to the urban local bodies.

Later, organisation secretary D. Jayakumar said the meeting went off peacefully. Justifying the action against Mr. Raajhaa, he said that if the trend of making public the details of deliberations held at the party forum was not curbed, everyone would start criticising the party decisions.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 10:49:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/aiadmk-decides-to-retain-dual-leadership/article37798294.ece

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