Chennai: Sending out a message to V K Sasikala, the aide of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa that the AIADMK’s doors are not open for her, the party’s executive on Wednesday through a resolution strengthened the concept of “dual leadership” at the helm. The executive decided that every primary member of the party would be entitled to elect by a “single vote” the AIADMK coordinator and co-coordinator, a post now held by O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami. Besides, it said this rule shall not be subject to any amendment in future.
Earlier in 2017 the party had abolished the all-powerful post of general secretary and instead gone for a dual leadership model creating the posts of coordinator and co-coordinator. At that time it was decided that the two leaders would be elected by the general council. Now it has been decided that all primary members would be entitled to elect the two leaders by a “single vote”.
This means that those aspiring for the top two equally placed supreme posts would have to contest only in pairs.
Political observers and party leaders interpreted the developments as a climbdown by former Chief Minister Palaniswami in his bid to tackle any attempt by Sasikala to re-enter the party. Though the AIADMK has been functioning under a dual leadership for the last four years, it is an open secret that Palaniswami had the upper hand and often Panneerselvam felt slighted.
“Both the leaders were functioning independent of each other issuing separate statements. This had weakened the party. We felt that they were not functioning cohesively. While even now Palaniswami would like to establish his dominance, he has been forced to compromise with Panneerselvam after the latter indicated a softening of stand against Sasikala. Now with this latest amendment by the party executive, the concept of dual leadership has been reinforced and a message has been sent out to Sasikala that she has no place in the party,” a second level functionary of AIADMK said.
Meanwhile Tamilmagan Hussain was appointed as interim presidium chairman of the party. This was seen as a balancing act as on Tuesday another Muslim face of the party Anwhar Raajhaa was expelled.