The AIADMK general council is meeting in Chennai on Nov 24, party’s coordinator O Pannerselvam and joint coordinator Edappadi K Palanisami announced on Thursday.
This is the second meeting of the highest policy making body of the AIADMIK since the passing of its general secretary and Chief Minister J Jayalalitha in December 2016.
Jayalalitha’s death led to a split after her close aide V K Sasikala staged a coup in February 2017 by getting her elected provisional general secretary by a specially called executive to be endorsed by the general council eventually. She also forced out of office O Pannerselvam who succeeded Jayalalitha as Chief Minister.
After resigning, Pannerselvam revolted but Governor refused to swear in Sasikala as the Supreme Court judgment in the disproportionate assets case against her was imminent. As expected, the apex court sentenced Sasikala to four years imprisonment and she was quickly lodged in Bengaluru jail.
Berfore going to jail, Sasikala got Edappadi K Palanisami with the support of her supporting 122 MLAs in February. Pannerselvam and 10 other of his supporters voted against him. Edappadi job was to keep the seat warm for Sasikala’s nephew T T V Dinakaran. He also won the R K Nagar by-election.
However, on the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pannerselvam merged his faction with the official Edappadi group in August 2017 to isolate Sasikala-Dinakaran clan.
The general council called at that time endorsed the merger and made Pannerselvam the coordinator and Edappadi Joint coordinator in a power sharing arrangement in the party. As a quid pro quo Edappadi was allowed to continue as chief Minister while Pannerselvam was inducted as No 2 as Deputy Chief Minister.
Simultanously the general council also removed Sasikala from the party and abolished the general secretary post itself. The reunited AIADMK got recognition from the Election Commission with the right to use the name, the symbol and the flag.
Dinakaran engineered a revolt against Edappadi after the August 2017 general council and got 18 legislators to petition the Governor. They were disqualified by the Speaker. The Madras High Court judgment upheld the disqualification and the Edappadi government survived with a working majority in a House with a reduced strength.
The Government has since strengthened itself further by winning nine out of 22 Assembly by-elections held along with the Lok Sabha polls in April this year. Now it has strength of 122 in a House of 235, excluding the Speaker.
With the Government having come to stay despite the passing a Titan like Jayalalitha, the AIADMK’s priority will be to strengthen itself at the grass roots by holding the long delayed local body elections. That is likely to be the main focus of the upcoming general council meeting.