For Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS), the new crown would make him the face of ADMK but what lie ahead on his road are full of ordeals. The crown of the interim General Secretary of ADMK would make him popular, write a new beginning for his political career, and it would also put him in a litmus test to restore the trust and to preserve the legacy of the former leaders MGR and J Jayalalithaa, in the midst of an unending drama of leadership tussle with his rival O Panneerselvam (OPS).
Besides battling with OPS to stamp his label as the party's interim General Secretary, EPS has a handful of challenges ahead from all the corners. A big toss has been going on in the ADMK over which challenge would hit EPS first and how he is going to respond to it. According to IANS, two of the major challenges before EPS are - i) an ordeal to strengthen the vote base in a prominent community in the state and ii) how EPS is going to run the show as the opposition party by tackling the BJP.
After getting elevated as the party's interim General Secretary, one of the major tasks that EPS has done was to expel OPS completely from the party. By expelling OPS and his supporters, EPS has now directed the expulsions of three biggies from the party - VK Sasikala, TTV Dhinakaran, and OPS. Notably, all three belong to the prominent Thevar community from which ADMK enjoys a concrete vote base.
Described as traditional supporters for the party, the Thevar community has held a special place in Jayalalithaa's reign and by directing these expulsions, EPS has apparently exhibited to break Jayalalithaa's legacy. EPS, who holds a strong support from western Tamil Nadu from where he belongs to, has invited a challenge to pacify the Thevar community after becoming the interim General Secretary.
As ADMK has been in abysmal due to the back-to-back debacles in elections, the dissent from the prominent voter base would trouble EPS and ahead of an upcoming election, the party and the state would be watching how he is cementing the base of the party under his leadership in southern and eastern Tamil Nadu. Besides this big challenge, EPS would be facing an inter-party ordeal from the BJP over the race for the opposition party.
In the midst of facing a leadership crisis within the party, EPS would be pushed to face a bigger trouble from the allied party BJP in gaining support from the Centre for his leadership and parallelly, putting ADMK first in the state as the Opposition party when the BJP has been claiming itself as a true opposition. For the past few years, EPS has been taunted by nightmares from Covid, losing elections, and to the leadership tussle in the party.
Now as he has become the party's new face, the turmoil within the party would throw more weight on his uphill task and as OPS was expelled from the party, the latter has moved the Election Commission of India, Madras High Court, and the Supreme Court against his expulsion and he has also written to the manager of the Karur Vysya Bank, Mylapore, Chennai asking the manager not to allow anyone from operating the party's accounts.
However, EPS, after removing OPS from the post of the party's treasurer, has announced that veteran leader Dindigul Srinivasan has been appointed as the new ADMK treasurer and EPS further wrote to the bank to let Srinivasan to carry out the financial aspects of the party. The EPS camp has also written to the Election Commission about the recent appointments in the party.