Tamil Nadu

More voices emerge in favour of unitary leadership in AIADMK

As most of the leaders are in favour of unitary leadership, others will also accept it, says a former Minister.

As most of the leaders are in favour of unitary leadership, others will also accept it, says a former Minister. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

More second line leaders and functionaries in the AIADMK on Sunday came out publicly in favour of migrating to “unitary leadership”, even as senior leaders continued their efforts to broker an acceptable deal between the party’s top two leaders— coordinator O. Panneerselvam and co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

For the second day, former Ministers K.A. Sengottaiyan, M. Thambidurai and Sellur Raju shuttled between the houses of both the leaders on the Greenways Road in Chennai and held parleys. But functionaries, who had chosen to express their views openly, came out strongly in favour of unitary leadership and Mr. Palaniswami.

“Since most of the leaders and office-bearers are in favour of unitary leadership, others will also accept it,” said former Minister O.S. Manian. He said Mr. Palaniswami was able to win all cases [relating to the party] after he became the Chief Minister. “Those who filed the cases received defeat as a prize and it will continue in the future also,” he reiterated. Even some functionaries from the Southern districts expressed their support for Mr. Palaniswami. Former AIADMK MLA I.S. Inbadurai, who was elected from Radhapuram constituency in 2016, said, “There is a space for unitary leadership and it was clearly established and taught by Puratchi Thalaivar (MGR) and followed by Amma (Jayalalithaa). The court will also question whether due process of law is followed. Only the general council has the supreme powers.”

Former Thoothukudi Lok Sabha member J. Jeyasingh Thiyagaraj Natterjee and Youth wing secretary of the party and former Minister N.R. Sivapathy, also extended their support to Mr. Palaniswami. “Let Mr. Panneerselvam be prepared for unitary leadership and it will be good for him. Youth wing, students wing, Ilampenkal Pasarai and other outfits have expressed solidarity with Mr. Palaniswami,” Mr. Sivapathy said.

Another former Minister, Kadambur C. Raju, said unitary leadership was the need of the hour. “I am supporting Mr. Palaniswami like majority of the leaders who have rallied behind him,” he said. Former Deputy Speaker Pollachi Jayaraman too backed Mr. Palaniswami.

V. Pugazhendhi, who was expelled from the party, met Mr. Panneerselvam and expressed his support. He accused Mr. Palaniswami of functioning in a “dictatorial manner.” Senior leader Manoj Pandian, Vellamandi Natarajan and R. Vaithlingam, also backed Mr. Panneerselvam.

Mr. Panneerselvam’s supporters released full-page advertisements in Tamil newspapers, defending their position by listing issues that led to the party’s defeat in the 2021 Assembly elections. One issue they highlighted was the 10.5% internal reservation for Vanniyars (since quashed by the judiciary), given by the Palaniswami government ahead of the polls.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 7:10:49 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/more-voices-emerge-in-favour-of-unitary-leadership-in-aiadmk/article65543471.ece