For AIADMK, two heads may not be better than one
A crucial meeting of the AIADMK district secretaries will be held at the party headquarters on Wednesday to take stock of the massive defeat in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
The meeting is also likely to discuss whether the party should give up the present dual leadership and have one leader, as was demanded by some of the party leaders in the last few days.
At present, the power in the party is split between Edappadi K Palaniswami chief minister, who is Co-coordinator of the AIADMK and O Paneerselvam deputy chief minister, the coordinator and also the party convenor. However, reports say discontent is brewing between them, and this has hurt the party. Some of the party leaders felt that a single leader should lead both the party and the government as was done in the past.
Last week, Rajan Chellappa, AIADMK MLA from Madurai and a senior party leader, called for a unitary leadership as dual leadership was not helping the party. There should be only one leader who is loved by the people should lead the party. It can be one of the two leaders - either Palaniswami or Paneerselvam - or a third person.
With a couple of other leaders echoing a similar view, the party issued a gag order forbidding leaders commenting on the leadership.
However, in a major U-turn, Chellappa today said that cadres and party should stay united under the leadership of the two leaders.
Some of the party cadres are stated to be unhappy with Paneerselvam trying to get a ministerial berth in the Centre for his son P Raveendranath, the lone AIADMK MP winning from Theni constituency. It is learnt that most of the senior leaders have moved closer to Palaniswami.
Meanwhile, senior party leader and fisheries minister D Jayakumar on Tuesday told newspersons that the need for a single leadership cannot be decided by an MLA or an MP but a decision should be taken collectively. Cadres can discuss such issues in the general council meeting, which will be convened soon, he said. Meanwhile, former AIADMK minister and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) leader T Inbathamizhan, returned to his parent party. A number of AMMK functionaries from various districts also left the AMMK to join the AIADMK.