Amid the ongoing tussle between the top leaders of AIADMK, it seems Edappadi K. Palaniswami , popularly known as EPS, has the majority to lead the party. While no conclusion is yet to come out of the party’s General Body meetings on Monday, sources told The Daily Guardian Review that

O Panneerselvam is losing ground and Palaniswami has a better grip over the party now.

The general body meeting was attended by top leaders, district secretaries, MLAs and cadres of the party. Out of 74 MLAs, 65 MLAs attended the meeting. Sources said that party leaders and MLAs of the party raised concern over the dual leadership during the meeting that lasted for four hours at AIADMK headquarters.

After the meeting, senior AIADMK leader and ex-minister Jayakumar said that Panneerselvam is a traitor and people of Tamil Nadu have understood his real face. Claiming that Panneerselvam has also betrayed the party and the party members, he expressed that it is clearly visible that Panneerselvam has done a lot of things which are against the party. Evading a question on Sasikala, he said that Sasikala is in no way related to the party, so there is no use of talking about her. Reiterating that this is an internal matter of the party, he added, “The BJP is not benefitting from the AIADMK leadership issue. This issue is within the party and will be solved within the party.”

Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam have been conducting meetings in their different camps to stake claim for single leadership. The decision of single-party leadership is under discussion and is likely to be revealed in the next general body meeting on 11July.

On the sidelines of the general body meeting, cadres tore Panneerselvam’s banner at the party headquarters. Reacting to this, Jayakumar said that the posters and banners from both the camps would be replaced. The followers of Panneerselvam have claimed that he is the people’s leader, identified by Jayalalithaa, while Palaniswami followers have stated that he is the only leader who can oppose DMK.

The general body meeting came in the backdrop of a mega roadshow conducted by Sasikala in Chennai on Sunday. Addressing the people in Thiruttani, Sasikala said, “When M G Ramachandran started the party, he said that he was creating the party for the poor and the common man. It is a party without any caste, creed or religion. This party worked for the welfare of the poor, and so did Amma. As far as I am concerned, the party cadres and general public are with me. I will soon bring about the AIADMK rule, which is for the poor and the common man.”

She further spoke about the internal rumblings and said, “Just because of two people fighting in the party, you cannot think that the whole party is in trouble,” adding, “Before the Lok Sabha polls, you will see AIADMK under one leadership and I will make it happen.”

AIADMK leader CV Shanmugam, on the other hand, claimed on Friday that Panneerselvam has ceased to be the coordinator of the party. “General Council Meeting of AIADMK happened yesterday. As of yesterday, in the AIADMK general council meeting, the earlier modified bylaw resolution was not tabled. So, now automatically dual leadership has expired.” He added, “Panneerselvam is only the treasurer of AIADMK and Palaniswami is the headquarters secretary of the party.”

Puzhalendi, a close aide of Jayalalithaa, recently broke silence on the clash between the two leaders in a conversation with iTV Network and said, “Palaniswami is trying to kick out Pannerselvam from the AIADMK party.” He further pointed out that Panneerselvam has good support from the people, whereas Palaniswami has good support from MLAs and AIADMK leaders. The fight between Pannerselvam and Palaniswami is a long ongoing fight. The party cadres, supporters, followers, leaders, and MLAs have been raising the issue for the past several months, stating that they are not able to fight the opposition due to dual leadership.

A senior leader and ex-minister from Jayalalitha’s cabinet also stated that BJP is trying to fill in the boots of AIADMK as the main opposition party in Tamil Nadu. This led to a fresh controversy and prompted the party council to call for a meeting.