AIADMK General Council okays EPS as CM candidate

Chennai: The General Council of the ruling AIADMK today ratified the party’s decision to project incumbent Edppadi K Palaniswami as the Chief Minister candidate for the upcoming Assembly elections due in next four months.

A resolution to this effect was adopted unanimously at the meeting, which started two hours behind schedule at a marriage hall at suburban Vaanagaram.

Another resolution authorising Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, who are also the coordinator and joint Coordinator of the party respectively, to decide and finalise the seat-sharing pact with the allies and devise the victorious poll strategy was also unanimously adopted at the meeting.

Apart from vowing to work for the victory of the party for a hat-trick of wins in the ensuing elections, a resolutions condemning Opposition DMK chief M K Stalin for his constant criticism of the Chief Minister was also adopted at the meeting.

The resolution ratifying Palaniswami as the CM nominee comes at a time when AIADMK’s key ally, the BJP taking a divergent stand that the issue of CM candidate would be announced by the BJP high command.

Except for Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) headed by former Union Minister G K Vasan, other allies of the AIADMK like the PMK, DMDK led by actor Vijayakanth were yet to officially announce their stand accepting Palaniswami as the CM candidate.

It may be noted that both Panneerselvam and Palaniswami had confirmed that AIADMK’s alliance with BJP would continue for the Assembly polls in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

However, the views of the State BJP leaders that its high command alone would take a call on the CM candidate has created some ripples among the AIADMK cadres.

Though political observers see it as a mere posturing move in a bid to bargain more seats, AIADMK deputy coordinator and former Minister K P Munusamy, speaking at the party’s campaign launch on 27 December, bluntly told the national party that there was no question of sharing power or giving cabinet berths to allies and that Palaniswami would be the CM candidate in the event of AIADMK winning the polls.

He also said the BJP could rethink its options if it did not agree to this.
It may be recalled that after protracted parleys the AIADMK had on October seven last year projected Palaniswami as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections.

After Palaniswami announced the formation of the 11-member steering committee to guide the party in the polls, which included six members from his side and five representing OPS’s side, Panneerselvam formally announced the CM candidate of the AIADMK.

“I am happy to announce that our dear brother Palaniswami will be the victorious Chief Ministerial candidate of the AIADMK for the 2021 Assembly polls,” he said.

He said, “in the 2021 Assembly polls, AIADMK will project Palaniswami as the Chief Minister,” bringing to an end the protracted intra-party tussle on the issue that began on the Independence Day last year.

 

NT Bureau