AIADMK Leadership Crisis Dampens Cadre Aspirations in Upcoming Local Body Polls
OPS wrote a letter to EPS requesting the authorisation forms be sent. But EPS refused to accept it.
With the divide between the two leaders of the Opposition party in Tamil Nadu deepening, the aspirations of the cadre of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) seem to have taken a hit.
The bypolls are scheduled to be held on 9 July and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is 30 June. However, due to the ongoing fight, party candidates have filed nomination papers at several places as independent candidates.
Every candidate, while filing a nomination for election, has to submit an authorisation letter from the party they represent. In the previous elections, the authorisation was provided by top party leaders or the district secretaries were authorised to do the same. However, neither Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) nor O Panneerselvam (OPS) has provided candidate authorisation for the upcoming elections.
The last date to file nominations was 27 June.
"This chaos is creating confusion among the cadre. These elections are more about the individual's popularity but our leaders not showing keen interest in the polls is very discouraging," said a senior AIADMK leader.
‘Letter Invalid’: EPS Tells OPS He Is Not Co-Coordinator
Party coordinator OPS on Wednesday night wrote a letter to joint-coordinator EPS requesting the latter to send Forms A and B for party candidates, so that they can contest under the two-leaves symbol. However, EPS refused to accept the letter.
EPS responded in a letter to OPS that he is no longer the co-coordinator of AIADMK.
Starting the letter with ‘Anbulla Annan avargalakku vanakkam' (Greetings, my dear beloved brother), EPS wrote, “The amendments to the party bylaw that facilitated the posts of coordinator and joint coordinator have expired. So, your letter written as the coordinator of the party is invalid.”
EPS had written the letter as the party headquarters secretary and referred to OPS as the party treasurer.
Meanwhile, some candidates have mentioned AIADMK in their nomination forms but the two-leaves symbol has not been assigned to them as the authorisation was missing.
Media reports suggested that the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) said the required authorisation letter can be submitted by 3 pm on Thursday. However, there seems to be no news from the Palaniswami camp.
The casual election schedule announced by the TNSEC covers election for corporation councillors (one ward each in Kancheepuram and Thanjavur Corporations respectively), municipal councillors (one each in Mayiladuthurai and Periyakulam municipalities), and 8 town panchayat ward members in districts including Virudhunagar.
There are a total of 510 local body seats slated for bypolls.
EPS Camp Meets With OPS To Settle Row
Senior leaders from the EPS faction of AIADMK, including SP Velumani, P Thangamani, and CV Shanmugham, met with OPS on Thursday morning, to convince him to accept the idea of single leadership for the party; but the latter reportedly struck it down.
The OPS faction has already appealed to the Election Commission (EC) stating the proposed general council meeting scheduled for 11 July cannot be valid as he, the coordinator of the party, did not sanction permission.
EPS on Tuesday, 28 June, wrote a letter to the poll panel stating that he enjoys the support of 2,441 general council members while OPS has support of around 60 members only, reports suggested.
EPS' camp also approached the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking to stay an order by the Madras High Court, which favoured OPS. In an emergency midnight hearing on 23 June, a division bench of the Madras High Court restrained the AIADMK general council from amending the party by-laws during its meeting which would have elevated EPS as the single leader of the party.
Sasikala & Her Nephew Talk About Retrieving AIADMK
With EPS and OPS locking horns over party leadership, expelled general secretary of the party VK Sasikala has begun her tour across the state to gather public support.
"As far as I am concerned, the party cadre and general public are with me and hence, I will soon bring about the AIADMK rule, which is for the poor and the common man," she said during a mega roadshow on Sunday.
Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) chief and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran on Wednesday said that the tussle has only favoured Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. “They (OPS and EPS) both behaved in a manner not suitable to the leaders of a party. There is a competition to buy the leaders for money. One is dancing like an Asura. No one will accept this and I’m telling you that the party is moving towards destruction," he said.
He further added that the AMMK will retrieve Jayalalitha’s party from the “wrong hands” in the future and fight the DMK.
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