Leadership crisis strips AIADMK cadre of party symbol


The leadership crisis in All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has forced the party candidates to contest without the party symbol in local body polls, slated on July 9. As a result, the candidates will be contesting the upcoming polls as independent candidates, which could put their prospects of winning in danger.

It is being reported that the cadres could not file their nominations on time due to a tussle between Edapadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and O Panneerselvam (OPS) as they could not sign the required forms for the filing of nominations on time.

The last day for the party cadres to submit the nomination form to the state Election Commission (EC) was on Monday. However, since the two leaders are not on talking terms, the required forms could not be signed on time.

Responding to OPS’s letter on Thursday, EPS wrote, “Beloved brother. The amendments to the party bylaw expired. Therefore, your letter written with a sense of being the coordinator of the party is invalid. He further added that OPS writing to him was unacceptable since the latter had made all efforts to bring the AIADMK to a standstill by complaining to the Avadi police commissioner to prevent the

general council meeting convened by both of them and filing cases in court.

OPS had earlier written to EPS on Wednesday, addressing him as Joint Coordinator and asked him to send the forms so he could sign them. In his letter, OPS had said that their signatures as coordinator and joint coordinator are necessary under party bylaws to file nominations under the party symbol and urged him to sign Form A and Form B but to no avail, as EPS refused to give in to his demand.

The infighting between the two leaders has prompted the party cadres to fight the local body polls without the ‘two leaves’ symbol, hence being devoid of the strength and mass appeal that comes with it. The local body elections will be held in over 500 wards in rural and urban bodies, which include 34 wards in district panchayats, panchayat unions, town panchayats, municipalities and corporations.

Meanwhile, the EPS camp had moved Supreme Court against an order passed by the Madras High Court in favour of OPS. The Madras High Court had restrained AIADMK general council from adopting any resolution other than the ones pre-approved by EPS and OPS. A key associate of EPS told a news daily, requesting anonymity, that they have filed a petition in the Supreme court challenging the lower court order as courts cannot interfere in party affairs.