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OPS arrives at AIADMK office as his supporters protest against E Palaniswami

Chennai: As the general council meeting of the AIADMK in Chennai is underway, former chief minister O Paneerselvam (OPS) on Monday reached the party office amid protest by his supporters after the General Council passed a resolution to squash dual leadership for AIADMK and elect Edappadi Palaniswami as AIADMK's interim General Secretary.

OPS supporters are protesting outside the party headquarters in Royapettah.
Notably, the meeting kicked off minutes after the Madras High Court allowed the meeting to be conducted, rejecting the plea by OPS to stall the meeting.

Putting an end to the dual-leadership structure in the AIADMK, EPS was on Monday elected as the party's interim General Secretary at its General Council meeting held here today.

The development follows Madras High Court allowing Tamil Nadu's main opposition party to hold its General Council meeting and comes as a setback to party's former coordinator O Pannerselvam (OPS) who had petitioned the court for a stay.

The meeting passed as many as 16 resolutions, including one that squashed dual-leadership and created the post of deputy general secretary and to ensure electing a person for the post by the primary members of the party. The party election will be conducted in four months.

After the demise of Jayalalithaa in 2016, the party has been following a dual-leadership formula with EPS as co-coordinator and OPS as coordinator. The clamour has been growing louder for a single leader in the party since the district secretary meeting on June 14 this year.

In comparison to OPS, EPS enjoys the support of a large number of party MLAs and district secretaries and today's meeting is expected to elevate EPS to the post of general secretary and abolish the dual leadership structure.

Earlier on Sunday, the EPS camp of AIADMK held a discussion at the residence of EPS in Tamil Nadu.
After all the 23 resolutions of the General Committee members were rejected, the supporters of O Panneerselvam-- who wanted to have the dual leadership format in the party continue-- staged a walkout from the meeting.

"All members rejected all the 23 resolutions and the only demand of General Committee members is on single leadership. When the next General Committee meeting is convened, all these along with the resolutions for single leadership will be adopted," AIADMK Deputy Coordinator KP Munusamy had said.

He further expressed that whenever the next General Council Meeting would happen, all the 23 resolutions and a single leadership resolution will be passed.

Former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, former Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and other leaders of the party were also present at the June 23 meeting.

Palaniswami has been eyeing single leadership in the party and his camp is pushing for passing a resolution in the said regard during the June 23 meeting, while Panneerselvam claimed that the general body could not pass the resolution without his signature as per the party bylaw.

OPS had also written a letter to EPS demanding postponement of the general body meeting citing a "confused situation" in the party which the AIADMK co-coordinator denied. In comparison to OPS, EPS enjoys the support of a large number of party MLAs and district secretaries.

Amid all this drama, OPS' long-time loyalists had also joined the EPS camp.
On Tuesday, Thiruvallur District Secretary Alexander and Puducherry State Secretary Anbalagan extended their support to EPS. (ANI)

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