AIADMK’s existential crisis – The Hindu

by mcdix

The party will find it more difficult than in the past because of the leadership issue.

The AIADMK, which should be busy organizing its golden jubilee, is facing an existential crisis as another split in the party seems imminent. This time, the point of contention between rival factions is the issue of leadership. When Coordinator O. Panneerselvam and Co-Coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced in a June 2 joint statement that the Executive Committee and General Council would hold their deliberations on June 23, many believed the event was only being organized to comply with legal requirements. The requirement to ratify the results of the organizational elections just concluded. Again, discussions between district secretaries and headquarters officials at the party office on June 14 initially created the impression that the proposed general council meeting was just a formality. A low-key former minister, Madhavaram V. Moorthy, put the cat in the cage by promoting the idea of ​​”single leadership” in the party. Most officeholders complied with his demand and surprised Mr. Panneerselvam. Also in June 2019, after the party suffered defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, Madurai (Suburban) District Secretary and Tirupparankundram Legislature VV Rajan Chellappa filed this claim.

existential crisis

The message from those who want change is clear: a position must be created above that of coordinator and co-coordinator, and Mr. Palaniswami must hold such a position. In September 2017, at the time of the merger of two groups led by Mr. Panneerselvam and Mr. Palaniswami, the General Council abolished the post of General Secretary. At least 60 of the 75 district secretaries and many headquarters officials are at this camp, which means that the general council will meet as scheduled. The reason cited by this camp is that the “dual leadership” has “only hindered” the party’s functioning, which is seen by allocating opposition space to the BJP, whose president K. Annamalai has emerged, As a virulent critic of the DMK.

This camp also subtly argues that Mr. Panneerselvam has been “quite soft” on the ruling party. Besides, how the party announced its nominees for two Rajya Sabha seats last month has accelerated the rift between the camps. Mr. Panneerselvam and Mr. Palaniswami dragged their feet to reach a consensus. When Mr. Panneerselvam chose the former District Secretary of Ramanathapuram, R. Dharmar, who was with him at the time of his ‘dharmayudham’ in 2017, Mr. Palaniswami had not pre-empted the selection. Those who want change feel that the Panneerselvam camp has “consumed fruits” disproportionate to its party strength. They’ve decided to use the General Board to cut the other side to size.

However, the group that Mr. Panneerselvam believes that the coordinator has always been “extremely accommodating” since the merger of the two factions. These party members also question the need for any change, as the two leaders were only elected to their respective posts for a five-year term in December last year by a single vote and with the support of all primary members. In addition, just six months ago, the party adopted the rule that electing candidates for the two posts could no longer be changed and corrected. Knowing that they are not strong numerically, the members of this camp are even considering postponing the general administration by approaching the judiciary. There is a section of the party’s leaders who are hoping against hope for reconciliation between the two camps. Despite the outcome of this episode, it is clear that the AIADMK, which suffered from erosion in its voting base after Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016, will face a tougher time than in the past.

You may also like