Chennai: Uncertainty over the single leadership in the AIADMK appears to have ended at least in terms of what the party officially has claimed. The party will continue with the present arrangement of split responsibilities among Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami who is the party’s co-coordinator and Deputy CM O. Panneerselvam, who is the coordinator. Party seniors: K. T. Rajenthra Bhalaji, D. Jayakumar and R. Vaithilingam, said the status quo of dual leadership would be maintained.
The ruling AIADMK’s crucial meeting of district general secretaries, parliamentarians, legislators and state office bearers – the first after the party’s dismal performance in the April Lok Sabha elections, was held at the party headquarters here on Wednesday, decided to continue with the existing dual leadership.
“It’s not an issue,” fisheries minister D. Jayakumar said in reply to a question on single leadership in the AIADMK. Emerging out of the meeting he told reporters that the meet did not discuss about this issue. The status quo would be maintained and the Chief Minister and his deputy would continue to lead the AIADMK. Playing down the leadership issue, he said the meeting was a routine one got up to take stock of the situation post the general elections. Asked if a pre-poll tie up with the BJP was an issue, he said it was “it is not at an issue.”
“The dual leadership will continue ... there is no change,” R. Vaithilingam, deputy coordinator of the party told reporters.
Milk and dairy development minister K. T. Rajenthra Bhalaji said with the support of everyone, it was decided that the present party structure of coordinator and co-coordinator would continue. Asked if this meant the demand of party’s lawmaker V. V. Rajan Chellappa had been rejected, he said the decision was taken with his support too. To a question on general council meeting, he said such decisions will be announced by the Chief Minister and deputy Chief Minister. Assembly Deputy Speaker Pollachi Jayaraman said, nobody can break the party.
The AIADMK had convened the meeting, days after Chellappa and Kunnam MLA R. T. Ramachandran pitched in for single leadership in the party following the party’s dismal performance in the Lok Sabha polls.
Meanwhile, the party, in a statement, warned of disciplinary action against functionaries who expressed their views on intra-party affairs in public. Only the party’s official spokespersons could talk on the organisation’s stand on any issue after ascertaining the position from the leadership, it said.
A party resolution, greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his poll win and for taking over as the premier for the second consecutive term. The AIADMK also expressed its happiness for the opportunity to the party to second the candidature of Modi for the Prime Minister’s post at the NDA meet.
“The party resolved to work hard and ensure a grand victory in the soon-to-be held local body elections, just as it has under the leadership of Amma (former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa). The party resolves to immediately begin work for the local body polls and win the hearts of the people,” the release said....