D-day arrives as AIADMK all set to announce CM nominee

Chennai: The ruling AIADMK in Tamilnadu is all set to make the crucial announcement on who would be the Chief Minister (CM) candidate for the Assembly elections due in seven months time.

A day after party coordinator and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam, quoting Lord Krishna verses from Bhagwad Gita announced that he would take a good decision in the interest of the people of the State and the party cadres, the row over the CM nominee seemed to have blown over.

While supporters and a majority of Ministers favoured the continuance of joint coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami as the CM face for the elections, loyalists of Panneerselvam wanted him to be the CM nominee.

The issue also had its echo in the last week’s marathon AIADMK executive meeting that lasted nearly five hours, during which both the leaders sparred at each other over the issue.

Since then there has been hectic parleys in both the camps and senior Ministers who met Palaniswami, had yet another round of discussions with him and also met Panneerselvam, who reached Chennai Monday night after holding consultations with his supporters at his native Theni district, at his residence.

Sources close to the AIADMK said that the issue has been amicably resolved and the party as announced earlier, would make the CM candidate public today.

As stated earlier, both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam would jointly make the announcement. The sources said the party was also expected to make an announcement on the formation of a 11-member steering committee to guide the party, a key demand made by three time CM Panneerselvam and agreed upon by Palaniswami
when the warring factions merged in August 2017.

Though Palaniswami said it was not feasible now, Panneerselvam seems to have persisted with the issue which was later agreed upon by the former.

“An announcement is likely, where it is the steering committee, whether it will ahve 11 or 20 members, or Politburo type of committee, will be known today”, the sources said, adding, the main objective of this committee was to guide the party and on how to face the elections in unitedly.

Stressing on the need for unity at this crucial juncture, the sources said the main aim was to face the Assembly polls without any hitch or differences in the party.

The issue seemed to have been resolved if one goes by Panneerselvam’s tweet Monday in which he said till now all the decisions he had taken was keeping in mind the interests of the people of Tamilnadu and the AIADMK cadres.

“It will continue to remain so hereafter”, he said, dropping indications that the open face off he had with Palaniswami on the CM nominee for the polls in the executive meet, has been settled.

Quoting Lord Krishna’s versus in Bhagwad Gita, he said, “whatever happened has happened well. Whatever is happening is happening well. Whatever will happen will also happen well”, he said, in a virtual climbdown from his hardened stance that he was running for the post of CM in the elections.


NT Bureau