CHENNAI: There’s fresh crisis in AIADMK, which has emerged as the principal opposition in the State. This time, it’s over the election of the Leader of Opposition. The first meeting of the newly elected AIADMK legislators, held on Friday, ended without a decision on the matter. The party MLAs will meet again on May 10 to elect their legislature party leader.
Ahead of the MLAs meeting, there were hectic parleys between the top leaders of party at the ground floor of the headquarters while the newly elected MLAs were waiting at the first floor. At the headquarters, there was open verbal duel between the supporters of O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami on Leader of the Opposition post. Supporters of both leaders had displayed posters in support of Panneerselvam and Palaniswami. Former Ministers SP Velumani, P Thangamani and D Jayakumarand others were present in the office-bearers meeting.
Sources said during the discussions, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami themselves engaged in heated exchanges over the reasons for the AIADMK’s defeat in the elections. While Panneerselvam was said to have pointed out the 10.5 per cent reservation for Vanniyars as one of the key reasons for the party’s defeat, Palaniswami denied and highlighted his work during the campaign besides the party’s big win in the Kongu region. The supporters of Panneerselvam said to have argued the failure to rope in the AMMK cost the party dearly.
Later, the difference of opinion between the supporters of Panneerselvam and Palaniswami came to the fore when both leaders led the newly elected MLAs and other office bearers to the memorials of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Marina.