Amid calls for single leadership, AIADMK says status quo will be maintained, warns party officials against speaking to media
Recently, Madurai MLA V V Rajan Chellappa voiced support for a single leader for the AIADMK and reviving the post of General Secretary which ruffled feathers in the party.
CHENNAI: The meeting of AIADMK district Secretaries, Members of Parliament, Members of Legislature of Tamil Nadu and others held here on Wednesday in the wake of the dual leadership issue ended without taking any major decisions.
This was the first meeting of the AIADMK after the drubbing the party got in the Lok Sabha polls. The AIADMK led alliance lost in 37 of the 38 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
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Soon after the meeting, in a joint statement, party Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister K. Palaniswami asked party spokespersons not to speak to the media or post messages in their social media accounts about the party till the high command makes an announcement.
The two leaders warned party officials of disciplinary action if they speak to the media or post in their social media account their views as the party views.
Senior AIADMK leader R Vaithilingam and State Ministers D Jayakumar and K T Rajendra Balaji said it has been decided that the present arrangement which gave full powers in the party to Palaniswami and Panneerselvam will continue.
"The dual mode of leadership will continue to be on. There is no change in it," Vaithilingam, a senior leader and deputy coordinator of the party told reporters emerging out of the meeting at party headquarters.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Minister for Fisheries D. Jayakumar said there was no issue or problem in respect to the question of who should lead the party.
He said "status quo" will be maintained; the Chief Minister and his deputy will continue to helm the AIADMK.
Downplaying the leadership issue, he said Wednesday's meeting was a routine affair to take stock of the situation following the general elections.
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The Minister for Milk and Dairy Development K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji said the meeting discussed the party's victory in the Assembly by-elections.
The ruling party has also urged the media not to air the views of individuals.
Recently, V.V. Rajan Chellappa, an AIADMK legislator, voiced support for a single leader and reviving the post of General Secretary.
Chellappa, representing the Madurai North Assembly constituency, said in Madurai on Saturday that there should be a single charismatic leader to steer the party to victory in the local body and Assembly elections.
His statement resulted in the discussion about the dual leadership and the two top party leaders were forced to issue a statement urging partymen not to voice views in public fora about the party and its decisions.
The ruling AIADMK is headed by Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister K. Palaniswami.
The two new party posts were created as a part of the patch-up between the two leaders and their respective factions while freezing the post of General Secretary on the pretext that no one else should hold that position that was held by late Chief Minister and General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa.
Meanwhile, the party meeting passed a resolution thanking the people for voting for the AIADMK and its alliance partners in the Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections.
The meeting also resolved to follow the path shown by party founder and late Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran and his successor Jayalalithaa.
Two posters - one calling Palaniswami and the other calling Minister for School Education K.A. Sengottaiyan to take the post of General Secretary - created a flutter amongst the party members outside the AIADMK headquarters.
The party did not extend an invitation to three dissident law makers - A. Prabhu, V.T. Kalaiselvan and E. Rathinasabapathy - to attend the meeting.
(With PTI inputs)