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AIADMK Dust Settles as Palaniswami Named Chief Ministerial Candidate Ahead of TN's 2021 Polls

Incumbent CM E Palaniswami was announced the CM candidate today.

Incumbent CM E Palaniswami was announced the CM candidate today.

Hours ahead of the announcement on Wednesday, sources privy to the development said O Panneerselvam was keen that his demand to set up an 11-member steering committee should be fulfilled before the party announces the candidate.

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Poornima Murali

After what seemed like marathon sessions to hammer out a settlement between rival factions led by O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami, the AIADMK came to an equilibrium on Wednesday — EPS will be denominated for the top job and OPS will get more say in party affairs as an 11-member steering committee has been set up.

Negotiations went on even past midnight on Tuesday. It was rumoured that Panneerselvam was standoffish over several thorny affairs including the chief ministerial candidate.

The demand to set up the Steering Committee was also a long standing one: Palaniswami’s factions get six positions while Panneerselvam get five.

Not just internally, the AIADMK’s effort to settle factionalism would help allies gain stability as to the path ahead.

The AIADMK is currently allied with the BJP, the PMK, the DMDK, the TMC, and several other small parties.

According to several party insiders, VK Sasikala’s release from prison is around the corner. It was her who installed Palaniswami as Chief Minister ahead of her imprisonment in February 2017.

The move by AIADMK to set up the steering committee and announcing Palaniswami as chief minister would also effectively rule out any room for Sasikala to jockey for power within the AIADMK.

The current political scenario is one of great fluidity with actor Rajinikanth reportedly waiting in the wings to kick start his political journey. The DMK has been out of power for close to a decade.

With such strong forces in play to grab power, the AIADMK’s steadying its unit bodes will for itself and readies the party—begun by actor MGR and developed by his protege Jayalalithaa—to face elections again.


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