Chennai: After long discussions and heated arguments, AIADMK joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami has been elected as the Leader of the Legislature Party, thus paving the way for his appointment as Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Tamilnadu Assembly.
A release from the party said that Palaniswami was elected unanimously by the AIADMK MLAs. Following this EPS will be the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, it added.
AIADMK MLAs and supporters gathered outside the party headoffice at Royapettah early in the morning to select the Leader of Opposition. With supporters gathering in large numbers tight security was provided to the AIADMK office.
Sources said that in a sudden twist AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam proposed the name of former Speaker P Dhanapal as the Leader of Opposition. The move is said to have been made to silence Palaniswami’s request to be made as the Leader of Opposition.
It may be noted that the AIADMK MLAs meeting which was convened on 7 May ended without any conclusion.
Sources said that a section of the supporters wanted OPS to be the Leader of Opposition, but this was opposed by EPS camp.
The EPS camp said that it was EPS who worked hard across the 234 constituencies and ensured a huge victory along the Kongu belt.
The OPS camp, however, said that the poor performance of the party in the south was due to EPS’ announcement of 10.5 per cent reservation for the Vanniyar community which led to disappointment among the MBC community who are a major vote bank for the party.
The OPS faction has also said that the money used for the election was from the party fund. AIADMK won 66 constituencies out of the 234 in the Assembly elections and its allies, the PMK and BJP, in five and four seats respectively.