ADMK gives more power to EPS and OPS: How it would trouble BJP and VK Sasikala?

The General Council and Executive Committee bodies of ADMK had given more power to party leaders Edappadi Palaniswami and Panneerselvam to decide on the alliance and seat-sharing with the allied parties for the upcoming assembly polls as the Tamil Nadu ruling party has been preparing to address the challenges ahead, including the dispute with the BJP and the release of jailed leader VK Sasikala. 

The ADMK has convened the meeting of both the powerful bodies of the party on Saturday at Shrivaaru Venkatachalapathy Palace at Vanagaram, Chennai and it was presided by party Presidium Chairman Madhusudhanan and the leadership had asked the members of the two bodies to come to the meeting with their report that they had tested negative for the COVID-19 viral infection. The meeting was attended by all the ministers and the bodies had given more powers for both the leaders to steer the party. 

The meeting has adopted 16 resolutions to strengthen the arms of both the leaders ahead of the elections. The party has given full power to Edappadi Palaniswami and Panneerselvam to decide on and finalize the alliance. During the meeting, the party has passed the resolution of strongly pressing that Edappadi Palaniswami will be the Chief Ministerial candidate of the party and the affirmation from the party has come when the BJP, which observes alliance with the ADMK, said that the Central leadership of the Central ruling party will be announcing the CM candidate, which stirred fresh dispute in the alliance. 

The party has also adopted the resolutions of condemning MK Stalin for criticizing the Chief Minister and the party has commended the announcements of Chief Minister and Central government for providing free COVID-19 vaccines. According to reports, the party has also appreciated the Tamil Nadu government to establish 2000 mini-clinics across the state and passing a 7.5% quota bill for the students to pursue medical studies. 

The party has also appreciated the state government for providing Rs 6000 crore for Cyclones Nivar and Burevi and the meeting has adopted the resolution for providing Rs 2,500 for all the rice ration cardholders for the Pongal festival. Along with adopting these key resolutions, the party has also given its nod to set up the steering committee, which was the demand kept by Panneerselvam to endorse Palaniswami as the CM candidate. The steering committee would comprise of eleven members including senior ministers and legislators. 

The meeting was convened at a high time when VK Sasikala, the closest aide of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, is three weeks away from getting released from the Bengaluru Central Prison. It has been expected that she will be released on January 27 which would further levy more challenges to the party as her release is surfaced with speculation that it would spark fresh tussle in what Edappadi Palaniswami aims to keep under his control. The upcoming assembly poll is the first state election for Edappadi Palaniswami as the Chief Minister and he is hoping to retain the reign and become the party's face after Jayalalithaa. 

The ADMK has been maintaining that Sasikala's release won't cause any adverse effect to the party. During the meeting, senior party leader KP Munusamy had indirectly attacked Sasikala and said that nothing will happen to the party in the wake of someone's release. He further flayed the national parties and said that the national parties only can travel in the state on the back of either ADMK and DMK. By citing that ADMK doesn't have possibilities for the sleeper cells in the party, Munusamy asserted that there would a direct contest only between the ADMK and DMK in the elections. 

Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami addressed the meeting following Munusamy and during his address, he said that ADMK will win the assembly polls only if the party and members work unitedly. The Chief Minister asserted that he is ready to work day and night for the party and called the members that the ADMK would record a landslide victory and form a new government and added that Jayalalithaa's memorial in Marina Beach will be opened in a month. While addressing the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Panneerselvam said that Tamil Nadu people have faith in the state government led by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami. 

According to reports, the party has convened the meeting to show that it stays united and the powers were given to both the top leaders at a high time when Sasikala is getting released from prison. By pressing that Edappadi Palaniswami is the CM candidate, the ADMK has signaled to the BJP that the alliance will only be possible if it endorses Palaniswami. In what would become fresh trouble for the Central ruling party, the political observers say that BJP has no other way other than accepting ADMK's decision of backing Palaniswami for CM to stay in the alliance after the hope of the Central ruling party to win the state has got dimmed after much expected Rajinikanth had closed his gates for politics.