Climax is brewing in the ADMK...Is EPS the next General Secretary?

Despite the efforts of ADMK's Chief Coordinator O Panneerselvam to deter the party's upcoming General Body Meeting where his rival Edappadi Palaniswami is likely to be elevated to the party's high command, the events around the party exhibit that the top meeting would go as planned and the preparations are underway in Chennai and amid the leadership crisis, the climax is brewing to witness the winner of the battle. 

ADMK has earlier announced that the General Body Meeting would be held on June 23 in Vanagaram, Chennai and the chorus from the Edappadi Palaniswami faction for the single leadership has sparked outrage from the Panneerselvam's supporters who claim that their leader must be awarded the post of General Secretary. The party has decided to adopt over 20 resolutions in the General Body meeting including the resolution for the single leadership, led by Palansiwami. 

The invite has been sent to the functionaries for the meeting and ahead of the meeting, the party has been displaying the foresight that Palaniswami would most likely become the General Secretary as he has the backing of a large number of supporters including the senior leaders. As the meeting is two days ahead from now, the supporters of Palaniswami have been erecting the banners across the state that he is the next General Secretary. 

Apart from the ADMK insiders, several political observers have predicted that Palaniswami holds the edge to win the race for yet another time. With the view of Palaniswami's elevation, the leaders from his camp have cast a face of convincing Panneerselvam to settle for the post of Presidium Chairman, which is the second most powerful post in the party. However, though there have been talks between the second-line leaders, Panneerselvam has shown no sign to support Palaniswami's elevation. 

The tussle between the top two leaders has widened the rift in the party and the ardent cadres are waiting for the climax that would be played on June 23. On the other hand, amid losing the support of the leaders of his own community, Panneerselvam had earlier slammed the conduction of the General Body meeting and warned that if any resolution is passed against the current leadership, the party's name and the logo would be seized. 

Ahead of the General Body meeting, Edappadi Palaniswami has sought support from functionaries to strengthen the party. Addressing a meeting with the party's IT wing, Palaniswami said that the attempts to weaken the party using the unitary leadership issue would fail. He said, "No such attempt in the party's history has ever been constructive, with your support I will foil all such bids."

His statement has come as a response to Panneerselvam's letter in which the latter urged to defer the General Body meeting due to confusion among party office bearers and cadres. It has been reported that the General Body meeting would see over 20 resolutions that were finalized by a 12-member committee that comprises the supporters of both the leaders. 

Initially, the number of resolutions was 15, it then grew up to 18 and eventually, the committee has prepared 23 resolutions. Palaniswami has planned to table a special resolution for unitary leadership to become the General Secretary of the party. As the party removed the post of General Secretary in 2017 during the merger of Palaniswami and Panneerselvam's factions, it will now see the modification of bylaws to reinstate the top post as both the leaders are locking horns over the leadership.