O Panneerselvam, Edappadi K Palaniswami, East Erode bypoll
A file photo of O Panneerselvam (left) and Edappadi K Palaniswami | PTI

Leadership row: No solution to be expected from AIADMK's June 12 meet

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The meeting called by the AIADMK with district secretaries and senior functionaries of the party on Wednesday may not arrive at a solution for the growing voices for the need of a single leadership.

Speculations are rife that the party’s general body meeting date would be decided Wednesday’s meeting.

On Saturday (June 8), senior AIADMK leader and Madurai North MLA VV Rajan Chellappa came out in public and pressed for the need for a single leadership.

Soon after he came open in public about the intra-party affair, senior leaders and ministers including fisheries ministry D Jayakumar and MLA Semmalai covered up the issue saying that everything was fine in the party.

“The party high command is taking note of the views of the workers and they would resolve it,” Semmalai had said earlier.

Also read: AIADMK MLA flays dual leadership, says there should be one chief

On Sunday (June 9), Kunnam MLA RT Ramachandran also joined the chorus and went ahead to hit at deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam for dynastic politics. He also sought for a single leadership to take swift action on the functioning of the party.

Soon, the AIADMK high command understood the seriousness of the issue and announced that there would be a meeting of MLAs and district secretaries at the party headquarters on Wednesday (June 12).

Panneerselvam, who is also the AIADMK coordinator, and chief minister and deputy coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami asked the party workers to restrain from discussing intra-party affairs in public, cautioning them that it would only help the Opposition to target the AIADMK.

However, now the question before the party workers is that whether the meeting would give a solution for the demand on the single leadership in the party.

Speaking to The Federal, MLA Semmalai asserted that Wednesday’s meeting will not give out a solution, but the MLAs and district secretaries will be given a chance to express their views. After facing a debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, Semmalai said the party workers did not get a platform to express their views.

‘Functionaries can put forward their views’

“Now, they can make their point in the meeting and their demand for the single leadership will also be heard. But it could not be solved in this meeting as only the general body has the power to elect a leader,” Semmalai said, adding that they may declare a date for the general body meeting to decide about the party’s leadership.

However, another MLA in the western region also echoed the views of Semmalai, but said that there will be heated arguments in the meeting as some leaders deliberately avoided campaigning for the party’s candidates in the southern districts.

“As the Edappadiyar (Edappadi K Palaniswami) said, everybody is a leader and everybody is a worker in the party. MLAs would add power to the hand that gets the support of majority of the district secretaries,” he said.

When asked whether the party would face an internal election to elect the general secretary, he speculated that there may not be one, as they had already selected one within themselves.

‘Meeting only about poll debacle’

But, AIADMK spokesperson RM Babu Murugavel claimed that the meeting was not at all about the ongoing chorus for a single leadership, but to introspect about the poll debacle.

“The meeting that is scheduled on July 12 was decided long back. Since the announcement came after the statements of the MLAs, it is being seen in the context of the leadership issue,” he said.

He further said that even the general body meeting date cannot be decided in Wednesday’s meeting as only the party’s governing committee has the power to decide on it.

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