The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general council meeting on Thursday ended in chaos as party coordinator O Panneerselvam and a few of his supporters staged a walkout. Water bottles were thrown at them and slogans were raised against them as they walked out of the meeting held at Vanagaram on the outskirts of Chennai.
The council meeting, taking place in the backdrop of the power struggle between Panneerselvam and joint co-ordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami, did not discuss the 23 resolutions on its agenda as the members stuck to the demand of a unitary leadership. Dr Tamilmagan Hussain, who was announced as the party’s presidium chairman, said that the next general council meeting will take place on July 11.
Former Minister C Vee Shanmugam said that the party members are rejecting all the proposals. Deputy secretary KP Munusamy supported Shanmugam and said the members want unitary leadership first and all the resolutions would be passed only when the party reintroduces them alongside the resolution for unitary leadership.
Hussain, while delivering his acceptance speech, thanked Palaniswami and other members for electing him as the presidium chairman, but omitted Panneerselvam’s name.
Later, Shanmugam read out a memorandum signed by 2,190 members of the AIADMK general council. He urged discussion about the setbacks the party faced due to the dual leadership and added that the party cadres are upset due to this. He said if the party wants to flourish in the next 100 years as it was dreamed by Amma (J Jayalalithaa), then it requires a strong, courageous leader like her and MG Ramachandran (MGR) and for that unitary leadership was the only way.
While former minister SP Velumani was about to deliver the vote of thanks, deputy coordinator R Vaithilingam said the meeting was taking place against the law and hence they were staging a walkout. He, alongside Panneerselvam and a few others, came down the dais and then a couple of water bottles were thrown at them as the cadres raised slogans against them.
Addressing the reporters, Vaithilingam said the Edappadi-led team is taking the party down the “destructive path”. He said without the approval of Panneerselvam, the party cannot convene a general council meeting on July 11.
KP Munusamy said that 2,600 general council members have submitted a memorandum urging unitary leadership and hence a resolution on that would be brought on the upcoming meeting in July and there would be no doubt that Palaniswami would be elected as the general secretary of the party.
The meeting which began around 11:30 am saw a huge gathering of AIADMK cadres. All the roads connecting the marriage hall at Vanagaram witnessed major traffic snarls which made it difficult for even leaders like Palaniswami and Panneerselvam to reach the venue.
After the leaders reached the dais, the general council and executive members gathered at the hall started to raise slogans supporting single leadership. A few of them even raised slogans against the Panneerselvam camp calling them “traitors”.
Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam paid floral tributes to the portraits of late AIADMK leaders MGR and Jayalalithaa before the meeting began.