AIADMK tussle: OPS took away party belongings from office with police support, claims EPS

Edappadi K Palaniswami, AIADMK’s newly-appointed interim general secretary, lashed out at ‘rebel’ leader O Panneerselvam (OPS) accusing him and his supporters of storming the party HQ and taking away documents with the help of state police.

In a press conference after taking control of AIADMK, EPS said, “Senior leaders had alerted police officials about a suspected attack by anti-social elements. D Jayakumar had filed a complaint. The state police has let this happen despite repeated pleas.”

Chennai: Supporters of leader O Panneerselvam (OPS) at AIADMK headquarters, in Chennai, Monday, July 11, 2022. (PTI Photo)

“OPS took away party belongings from the office, in league with the DMK government. Several workers were injured protecting the party HQ from anti-social elements,” he claimed.

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The AIADMK headquarters in Chennai was sealed by authorities following violence and vandalism between supporters of both leaders.

Putting an end to the dual-leadership model in the AIADMK, EPS was elected as the interim general secretary of the party on Monday. The decision was taken at the General Council meeting. Over 2,500 members empowered EPS to steer the party as a ‘single supreme leader’.

OPS, who shared the leadership responsibilities with EPS, was expelled for ‘anti-party’ activities. EPS and some other senior party leaders accused OPS of siding with the DMK regime and working to weaken the AIADMK.

Responding to his expulsion, O Panneerselvam said he was elected as the Coordinator by “1.5 crore” party workers and that neither EPS nor another leader had the right to expel him.

He further said that he will take legal action and challenge the party’s decision in court.

The two leaders were working under the dual leadership model as per a truce adopted five years ago after the death of the then chief minister J Jayalalitha in December 2016.

Last week, the Supreme Court permitted the EPS faction to convene the meeting in accordance with the law. While EPS wanted singular leadership, OPS wanted the present dual leadership model to continue.

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