INDIA: Today’s key General Council (GC) meeting of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) resulted in the abolition of the dual leadership system and the appointment of Edappadi K. Palaniswamy (EPS) as the party’s Interim General Secretary. Soon after, the party expelled O Panneerselvam (OPS) and three of his supporters by a special resolution.
Senior leader Natham Viswanathan attacked Panneerselvam in his speech to the General Council, claiming that his reputation as a “calm guy” was utterly at odds with his alleged “brutal face.”
He said that there should be absolutely no connections with Panneerselvam since he constantly kept what he desired hidden inside himself and expressed something wholly different to the outside world, quoting the lyrics of the reforming saint Vallalar from the 19th century.
The general council members then began to yell at Panneerselvam and demand that something be done about him. Senior leader K P Munusamy snatched the microphone away from Viswanathan as he sought to calm them down by promising action.
Munusamy said, “You are members of the General Council. You demand that he (OPS) should be expelled from the party. You represent 1.5 crore party members. The representation you have made here will be reflected in a resolution and it will be moved by our (Interim) General Secretary. Please wait till then.”
On Monday, the Madras High Court denied a request for a stay on the general council meeting made by former AIADMK coordinator and leader O Panneerselvam, stating that the court cannot get involved in political party disputes.
On Monday morning, Justice Krishnan Ramaswamy handed down the decision, allowing the EPS group to hold the GC meet—the top decision-making body of Tamil Nadu’s biggest opposition party.
Outside the party headquarters, Edappadi K. Palanisawmy (EPS) and O. Pannerselvam (OPS) factions fought prior to the key GC meeting.
Stones were thrown at one another outside the AIADMK party office by the EPS and OPS groups.
According to reports, some people were hurt during the altercation.
Meanwhile, other guys were observed busting open the party office’s doors and attempting to force their way inside. The AIADMK office has increased security.
Panneerselvam may be removed from his position as treasurer by the GC meeting since he “failed” to perform his obligations. There are rumours that Panneerselvam is planning to skip the meeting and speak with his supporters at his home on Greenways Road.
The party has installed entry control technology, seen as a first in Tamil Nadu by any political party, such as flap barriers and turnstiles to allow only authorised personnel with access cards, as the OPS camp has vehemently opposed the gathering to choose Palaniswami as the top leader.
Approximately 3,000 functionaries will be housed in a sizable open area that has been tin-roofed on the property to host the event.
Senior leaders will be seated on a large dais that is 80 feet long and 40 feet wide.
Party leaders M. G. Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa are both depicted across the entire building, with Palaniswami’s image thoughtfully placed in between.
The entire locality wore a festive look and Palaniswami is set to be given a grand reception on his arrival for the meeting.
Supporters of EPS and party officials, including P Thangamani and R B Udhayakumar, examined the preparations for the event’s hosting on Sunday.
While the Palaniswami camp claimed that there were now 2,455 GC members supporting them, the Panneerselvam camp claimed that OPS has 1.5 crore party members on its side.
There are around 2,650 members of the GC. Party officials competed with one another to place advertising supporting EPS in the party organ “Namadhu Amma,” and the Tamil daily was brimming with promotional material hailing Palaniswami as the party’s future and dawn.
Panneerselvam, the party treasurer, is only allowed to boycott the meeting, according to AIADMK. Chaos was present when the GC convened on June 23, and an OPS who had been marginalised was forced to leave with his supporters after voicing his objection to the Palaniswami faction.
Since last month, the AIADMK has been embroiled in serious internal conflict over the issue of a single leader. Palaniswami currently enjoys the backing of a vast majority of the party, while Panneerselvam has been marginalised. The AIADMK is anticipated to take action against Panneerselvam soon.
The Madras High Court announced on Friday that it would rule on an appeal against conducting the General Council meeting on July 11 by 9 AM.
The meet was initially supposed to start that morning on July 11, the day it was to be held.
The court’s decision will now determine how the meeting turns out.
While Palaniswami, who is anticipated to be chosen as the supreme leader at the GC meeting, is in favour of the gathering, Panneerselvam is against it.