Two days after the rift in the AIADMK came to the open at the party’s Executive Committee meeting on Monday, both the camps continued to hold closed door meetings on Wednesday while Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan gave some clue on the lines in which the compromise formula was being worked out.
Srinivasan indicated to media persons, who managed to catch him on the phone, that Edappadi K Palaniswami would be announced as the next Chief Ministerial candidate on the scheduled date of October 7. He said that there was no infighting in the AIADMK.
But in Chennai Chief Minister Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam, who are fighting tooth and nail to be the next Chief Ministerial candidate, not only went about their official outings but were also closeted with their respective supporters chalking out their plan of action.
Sources said that both the sides would sit down to thrash out the matter on Saturday and most probably Pannerselvam might agree to his becoming the full-fledged convener or general secretary of the party in lieu of Palaniswami being announced as the Chief Ministerial candidate.
In the event of both the sides not coming to an agreement by October 7, the next showdown would be at the General Council meeting, to which both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam are said to be mobilizing supporters.
The huge gathering at the General Council could help them sort out their differences by displaying their support bases and both are gearing up for that.
On Tuesday evening, Panneerselvam, who was planning to leave for his hometown near Theni, triggered rumours of his resignation from the Deputy Chief Minister post as his personal car with the party flag fluttering in the front was spotted driving up to the porch.
While he had asked for the personal car since it was a long drive to his home town, onlookers speculated on his possible abandoning the official car with the national tricolor on the bonnet as a prelude to his abdicating office.
Also when the Deputy Chief Minister did not take part in the Chennai Corporation’s function at Island Ground on Wednesday to launch a solid waste management project it gave rise to conjectures. Since the Chief MInister and a host of other Ministers were present at the event, people started guessing if Panneerselvam was boycotting the event or was going to give up his post.
However, when Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar was asked about it, he clarified that it was not a major government event and the Deputy Chief Minister was not invited to all events that happened in the State. But the front page advertisement for the event in select newspapers without the Deputy Chief Minister’s name was also one reason for the doubts that were raised.
On his part, Pannerselvam attended a meeting of the CMDA at around 11 am but only after going into a huddle with his supporters in the AIADMK like Manoj Pandian and K P Munusamy. Even Palaniswami had meetings with his supporters.