The factional fight in Tamil Nadu’s opposition AIADMK has peaked with the group owing allegiance to former Chief Minister K. Palaniswami (EPS)rejecting the suggestion by the leaders supporting party Chief Coordinator and former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam (OPS) to postpone the General Council meeting slated for June 23.
After visiting Vengaram where the General Council is scheduled to take place, party Deputy Coordinator K.P. Munusamy told media persons that the meeting would take place on June 23 itself.
He said that he is yet to receive the letter by Panneerselvam and his supporters demanding a postponement and that as Chief Coordinator, Panneerselvam has to attend the meet.
On the other hand, another party Deputy Coordinator R. Vaithalingam told IANS that he and Panneerselvam had given a letter to Palaniswami on Sunday for the postponement of the General Council and are were expecting a response on Tuesday.
Vaithalingam said that several former Ministers, former MPs, former MLAs, and other senior leaders have expressed their desire to be invited as special invitees due to the extraordinary situation caused by the leadership issue.
Meanwhile, former AIADMK spokesman, Pugazhendi who was expelled from the party but remains close to Panneerselvam, told IANS that there could be a law and order situation during the General Council meeting and requested the DGP to be on extreme alert. He said that two days back, a party cadre was attacked in party headquarters and said that this could be repeated during the coming meeting.
AIADMK Tiruvallur District Secretary and former minister, P. Benjamin has even moved the Madras High Court with a plea for directing the state police to provide adequate security at the venue. In his prayer, he alleged that certain expelled members of the party, along with members from other parties, are likely to create problems during the meeting.
Sources in the party told IANS that many office-bearers owing allegiance to Panneerselvam have contacted the party leadership and wanted to participate in the meeting. These former party office bearers say in the the past, such meetings have taken place at the same venue and that the argument of no space was flimsy and not acceptable.
Vaithalingam also said that many members of the General Council have complained that they are yet to get the agenda for the meeting. He said that legal experts have given the opinion that the meeting must be conducted by deciding the agenda, while adding that the meeting must be postponed to a new date given the situation.
He also said that in the General Council meeting, no resolution can be moved without the consent of Panneerselvam as he was the Chief Coordinator.
However party leader and advocate and office bearer, Babu Murugavel said that the General Council will not be postponed and that it would move towards a single leadership for the party.