Tamil Nadu

Palaniswami set to be the Leader of the Opposition

Former CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami at the party headquarters  

Former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami is set to be the Leader of the Opposition in the 16th Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. On Monday, he was “unanimously” elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party.

He will be the Opposition leader by virtue of the AIADMK being the second largest party in the new House. However, during Monday’s meeting of the party’s newly elected legislators, no decision was taken on who would be the AIADMK’s Deputy Floor Leader in the Assembly.

A letter electing Mr. Palaniswami, the party co-coordinator, as the AIADMK legislature party leader was handed over by party leaders to Assembly Secretary K. Srinivasan in the afternoon. The party had to convene a meeting of its MLAs last Friday and this Monday to arrive at a “consensus” on the issue.

The election was not a smooth affair as party coordinator and former Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam is learnt to not have been wholeheartedly in favour of the decision.

However, a former Minister, who is also a party district secretary, rejected the suggestion that there was dissent within. He told The Hindu: “It was Mr. Panneerselvam who proposed Mr. Palaniswami’s name and the election was unanimous. Though we wanted to elect Mr. Panneerselvam as the Deputy Floor Leader, he insisted to hold only the post of the party’s coordinator.”

Despite several legislators insisting that Mr. Paneerselvam take up the post, he declined, he said. “So we will decide on that later,” the former Minister said. “We are also used to having our one strong leader as Chief Minister, if elected to power, and as Leader of the Opposition when not in power. Everything was new this time. Former Speaker P. Dhanapal’s name was also considered before the final decision,” he said.

Another senior leader acknowledged it was not a smooth sail. “But our MLAs were clear and wanted Mr. Palaniswami to take over as our leader in the Assembly,” said the MLA, who attended the meeting.

When sought for a comment, political analyst P. Ramajayam said, “This election by the MLAs shows that Mr. Palaniswami is emerging as a strong leader in the AIADMK. It also shows the western region’s growing influence over the party than the south. The AIADMK was strong in the south and west, and now it is mostly just in the west.”

A party source also confirmed that both the AIADMK MPs in the Rajya Sabha, K.P. Munusamy and R. Vaithilingam, had decided to resign from the membership of the Upper House in view of their election to the Assembly.

Cadre booked

Personnel attached to the Royapettah police station registered a case against AIADMK men for gathering at their party office on Avvai Shanmugam Salai, violating lockdown regulation.

An FIR was filed by the police based on a complaint alleging that around 250 unnamed cadre gathered in disobedience to an order, duly promulgated by a public servant, and failed to follow COVID-19 norms.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:46:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/palaniswami-set-to-be-the-leader-of-the-opposition/article34530841.ece

Next Story