Ahead of the nail-biting climax in ADMK, OPS is losing big wickets to the EPS camp!

After a high-voltage political drama for over a week with the episodes of separate meetings of the factions and scathing attacks among the cadres, Tamil Nadu's opposition ADMK is all set to conduct a General Body meeting on June 23 in Chennai. Amid the leadership tussle between the top two leaders O Panneerselvam (OPS) and Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS), the recent events suggest that Panneerselvam's prospect of becoming the party's General Secretary is dimming. 

In recent times, the ADMK has been witnessing a chorus for a single leadership and while EPS aims to become the General Secretary by outcasting Panneerselvam, the latter had taken efforts to stop the General Body meeting where Palaniswami plans to bring a special resolution for his elevation to General Secretary. As the efforts of OPS to stop the meeting had failed, he has also been losing some big wickets from his camp, who are joining the EPS camp. 

One of the wickets is former MP V Maitreyan. He was a strong supporter of OPS since the party was revolted into two factions in 2017. After the merger of the OPS and EPS camps, Maitreyan was sidelined from the party and he was also denied a Rajya Sabha ticket. Though he was seen with OPS during a press meet two days ago, he was in the mindset that OPS didn't lobby for him at the party. Shockingly, on Wednesday- June 22, Maitreyan met Edappadi Palaniswami and extended his support to him. 

Earlier, several leaders from Panneerselvam's camp including Mafoi Pandiarajan, Semmalai, Ponnaiyan, and Natham Viswanathan had joined Palaniswami's camp, pushing Panneerselvam to keep counting the declining numbers. Besides these senior leaders, most of the MPs and MLAs are supporting Palaniswami and it has become apparent that Palaniswami would win the floor test of ADMK's single leadership resolution. 

Of the 75 district secretaries in the party, nearly 70 secretaries are backing Palaniswami and several units in the party have also poured their support into EPS. Notably, the leaders from Panneerselvam's own community have switched over to Palaniswami's camp. With the huge support, Palaniswami has formed a legal team to counter Panneerselvam's appeals to stop his elevation. 

Vaithilingam is a familiar leader in the OPS camp as he supports Panneerselvam to oppose the growth of Palaniswami and the latter's close associate SP Velumani. If Palaniswami wins bringing Vaithilingam to his camp, Panneerselvam's faction would be left with no key leaders to support him. With the ailing support, Panneerselvam has mulled seeking the support of VK Sasikala.

With diminishing hope, Panneerselvam has been left with limited options either to back Palaniswami or to witness losing all the wickets. There were several reports that suggest that Palaniswami's camp has also discussed expelling Panneerselvam from the party if he agitates against the single leadership. As Palaniswami has gained a winning momentum, it has been reported that around 23 resolutions will be tabled at the General Body meeting on June 23 and there was no mention of single leadership.