Tamil Nadu

AIADMK unable to decide on Leader of Opposition post

AIADMK Coordinator O. Panneerselvam and Co-Coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami at arriving at the party headquarters on Friday. K.V. SRINIVASAN   | Photo Credit: K.V. Srinivasan

A meeting of newly-elected AIADMK legislators held on Friday to choose the Leader of the Opposition turned stormy with supporters of party coordinator O. Panneerselvam and co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami hurling charges against each other. Both leaders are learnt to have staked claim to the important post.

The meeting at the party headquarters remained inconclusive and the two leaders called for a second meeting of MLAs at 9.30 a.m. on May 10 to decide the issue.

A prolonged quarrel between two sections of cadre outside the party head office suggested internal unrest.

Supporters of Mr. Palaniswami, who was the Chief Ministerial candidate, believe he should be the Leader of the Opposition as the party performed well in western Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Panneerselvam’s supporters feel the party fared poorly in other parts due to the wrong policies of Mr. Palaniswami when he was the Chief Minister.

After the meet, when Mr. Palaniswami visited the memorial of late leaders Jayalalithaa and M.G. Ramachandran, some cadre raised slogans supporting O. Panneerselvam.

This led to counter sloganeering from Mr. Palaniswami’s supporters.

Sources said even as party MLAs arrived, a few senior leaders met separately and held a discussion for over two hours. “They had a separate discussion that went on for quite sometime, which was not expected,” a party source said.

Soon after the meeting of senior leaders concluded, the meeting of the MLAs commenced. However, the issue of choosing the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly could not be decided.

The party’s performance during the election and the reasons behind them were discussed, a party source said.“They had a separate discussion that went on for quite sometime, which was not expected,” he said. Soon after the meeting of senior leaders concluded, the meeting of the MLAs commenced. However, the issue of choosing the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly could not be decided.

A senior leader said, “We don’t have any problems. We will resolve all issues amicably. We will have another MLAs’ meeting on Monday morning.” Asked why a decision could not be taken, he said: “One of our deputy coordinators is not well and is in isolation and hence a decision could not be taken.”

When sought for comment, Political analyst P. Ramajayam said, “The issue of dual leadership in a party has always been problematic, especially for a party like AIADMK, which was efficiently led by one strong leader. Until one person leads both the party as well as the party in the Assembly, this issue will continue.”


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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 9:09:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/aiadmk-unable-to-decide-on-leader-of-opposition-post/article34510412.ece

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