Amid growing tensions within the party over expelled ADMK leader VK Sasikala's bid for a political resurgence and to take over the leadership of the party, the recent development had escalated the drift in a fashion against party's joint coordinator and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS), who is strongly taking efforts to control the party.
While Palaniswami has been becoming the power-centric in the party, controversial posters in Tamil Nadu had blamed Palaniswami for the party's defeat in the recently-held state assembly polls. Posters were surfaced in the Tirunelveli district blaming Palaniswami for losing the elections. The posters, which were in support of the party's coordinator O Panneerselvam, were seen in prominent places in Maanur.
Besides blaming Palaniswami, the posters had threatened that the ADMK members would march towards the party's headquarters at Royapettah in Chennai if decisions of the party are taken without consulting Panneerselvam, whom Palaniswami thinks as his troublemaker in the party. The poster read, "Do not take any decision without consulting party's coordinator O Panneerselvam, who was identified as the leader for the party matters by Amma (late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa)."
"We lost the elections as the party has taken decisions without consulting Panneerselvam. If this continues, we will march towards the party headquarters", the poster added and it had placed Palaniswami's face down to Panneerselvam's face. As the posters had stirred controversy and intra-party furore, the party had enquired about the matter and the leadership is yet to identify the individuals who were responsible for surfacing the posters.
The posters from southern Tamil Nadu had troubled Palaniswami amid Panneerselvam's allegations against Palaniswami that he had taken decisions in the party to retain his stronghold in the western districts and his decisions had declined the party's growth in southern districts. Palaniswami and Panneerselvam had already been observing a souring relationship and it got fueled after expelled ADMK leader VK Sasikala had promised to the party cadres that she will enter politics.
Recently, Sasikala had spoken with the party cadres over the phone and the audio clips were leaked and doing rounds on social media. In the audio, Sasikala is heard asserting to her supporters in the ADMK that she will be coming back to politics and lead the party. However, Edappadi Palaniswami had on last Friday said that Sasikala has no place in the party and blamed the expelled ADMK leader for causing confusion among the party cadres.
On the other hand, Sasikala's audio didn't cause tension to O Panneerselvam as the latter has been mulling to allying with her after souring relationship with Edappadi Palaniswami. ADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam had reached out to Sasikala through her close associates, during the lockdown. As the tension escalates between Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, the coordinator has decided to ally with Sasikala to collapse Palaniswami's surge in the party and the recent developments had suggested that the state is close to witnessing another episode of dispute in the party.