AIADMK meeting may decide to maintain status quo for now

Last Updated: Tue, Jun 11, 2019 23:14 hrs
AIADMK

Chennai: Even though voices have been raised about the efficacy of dual leadership and demanding single leadership in the ruling AIADMK, a meeting of party leaders called here on Wednesday may decide on maintaining the status quo, said political analysts.

One analyst said after the drubbing in the recent Lok Sabha polls there is certainly a leadership vacuum in the AIADMK.

"The meeting will end deciding to maintain the status quo. There will not be any major decisions pertaining to the leadership. The party focus will be on continuing to run the government," political analyst Raveendhran Dhuraiswamy told IANS.

"What is clear now is that there is a need for assertive leadership in AIADMK. There is certainly a leadership vacuum in the party after the party got a massive drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls," political strategist Jhon Arokiasamy told IANS.

Barring the Theni seat, the AIADMK-led alliance lost on all 37 seats in the recent Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu.

Recently V.V. Rajan Chellappa, an AIADMK legislator voiced support for a single leader and reviving the post of general secretary.

Chellappa, representing the Madurai North Assembly constituency, said in Madurai on Saturday that there should be a single charismatic leader to steer the party to victory in the local body and Assembly elections.

His statement resulted in the discussion about the dual leadership and the two top party leaders were forced to issue a statement urging partymen not to voice views in public fora about the party and its decisions.

The ruling AIADMK is headed by Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister K. Palaniswami.

The two new party posts were created as a part of patch-up between the two leaders and their respective factions while freezing the post of General Secretary on the pretext that no one else should hold that position that was held by late Chief Minister and General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa.

According to Arokiasamy, the standing of Palaniswami got slightly eroded as the party performed badly in the western belt of the state, considered to be his stronghold.

On the other hand, Panneerselvam gained an upper hand as his son P. Raveendranath Kumar was the sole winner in the Lok Sabha polls from Theni constituency.

"However, Panneerselvam may seem lacking a strong support base in the party. But he is indispensable for the party at this juncture," Dhuraiswamy said.

Though Panneerselvam had earned the goodwill of the people when he broke away from the party, the legislators and other party leaders were supportive of Palaniswami.

"Panneerselvam lost the plot when he ditched his own core team members," Dhuraiswamy said.

"Majority of the original core team members of Panneerselvam are not with him now. He was not able to get party positions for his core supporters after merging his faction with AIADMK," a former Lok Sabha member of the party K.C. Palanisamy told IANS.

Palanisamy said Panneerselvam was not able to get sufficient number of Lok Sabha seats for his supporters.

"Panneerselvam got a party post for his son prior to the elections then got him to contest from Theni. He was also seen to be lobbying for a ministerial berth for his son in the Central government. These things did not go down well with the party members," he added.

Chief Minister Palaniswami was in favour of senior party leader and Rajya Sabha member R. Vaithilingam becoming a central minister.

Curiously, Palanisamy an active spokesperson of AIADMK and a core supporter of Panneerselvam, was turned out of the party for his media statement.

That Panneerselvam has to introspect and change so as to win back his supporters was a unanimous view.

According to sources, in order to maintain peace in the party, Panneerselvam may not press further for a ministerial berth in the central government and the berth will be given to Vaithilingam when the opportunity arises.