With the winter session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly to commence on October 17, a new war has emerged in the AIADMK over the post of Deputy leader of opposition.
The post of Deputy leader of opposition was held by former Chief Minister, O. Panneerselvam (OPS) and the leader of opposition in the state Assembly is former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, who is also the interim general secretary of the AIADMK.
OPS and those close to him were expelled from the AIADMK on July 11, during the party general council meeting held in the outskirts of Chennai and Palaniswami emerged as the interim general secretary of the party.
While the expulsion of OPS is still in the Supreme Court after the deposed leader filed a petition against the Madras High Court division bench order justifying the expulsion, the EPS faction has petitioned the Assembly Speaker M. Appavu to allow party legislator, R.B. Udhayakumar to take part in the Business advisory committee meetings. Palaniswami sent the letter to the Speaker through the Deputy Whip of the AIADMK, S. Ravi on Tuesday.
Former Chief Minister and deposed leader of the AIADMK, Panneerselvam has already petitioned the Speaker that he was still the Deputy Leader of the Opposition.
A leader close to OPS while speaking to IANS said, “OPS was expelled by the July 11 general council meeting of the party. The Supreme Court of India is to hear a petition filed by O. Panneerselvam and without a verdict from the court, you can’t say that he is not with the party. Let the order come and then we can decide.”
With the 2024 general elections almost around the corner, the factional feud in the AIADMK is creating major heart burns for the prospects of the NDA from Tamil heartland even though the BJP has gained some ground at the grassroots level after K. Annamalai, the former IPS officer became the president of the state unit. Sources in the BJP told IANS that the party is for a grand alliance between OPS, EPS, V.K. Sasikala, and T.T.V. Dhinakaran.