Confabulations, discussions in AIADMK over leadership change

by IANS |

Chennai, June 16 (IANS) The opposition AIADMK is in the midst of a series of confabulations over whether a single leadership or current dual leadership should continue in the party.

The party-state leadership meet is to be held on June 23.

Currently, the AIADMK has dual power centres with former chief ministers and party senior leaders O.Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami leading the party. The party constitution is revamped now with Panneerselvam being the Chief Co-ordinator and Edappadi as the Coordinator.

However, a section of senior leaders has demanded that the party must go back to the old days of a single leadership as dual leadership was creating difficulties for the party to move ahead in the turbulent political waters of the state.

Former Forest Minister and senior party leader and Dindigul (West) district secretary of the party, Dindigul. C. Sreenivasan openly stated that he wanted a single leadership for the party. When asked the senior leader said that he preferred Palaniswami to head the party and that it was in the best interests of the party. The veteran leader also said that most of the cadre and leaders preferred Edappadi for heading the party.

In a retort to the statement of Dindigul Sreenivasan, Covai Selvaraj who is a former MLA and a senior leader from Coimbatore, hit out and said that Panneerselvam was the leader preferred by the cadre and that his leadership was required for continuance of 'Amma' late J. Jayalalithaa's leadership.

Another major factor that is affecting the leadership is the emerging possibility of V.K.Sasikala back to the party fold. While the AIADMK leaders in the open are strictly dismissing such a possibility, the crack in the strong party vote bank of 'Thevar' community in South Tamil Nadu is a factor that is staring at the opposition party. Both Sasikala and Panneerselvam are Thevars and the community is strongly placed in South Tamil Nadu and was a traditional vote bank of the AIADMK.

Sasikala has, in a recent interaction with journalists at Chennai, said that she wanted the AIADMK back into its lost glory and that she would do whatever she can for it.

Panneerselvam has always been a supporter of Sasikala and her clan and this political fact will determine the new leadership in the opposition AIADMK.

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