A weakened AIADMK gives the ruling DMK a free run and a better chance for the BJP to capture the opposition space


Lakshmana Venkat Kuchi, Senior Editor

If in Maharashtra BJP’s hand was somewhat visible in splitting Shiv Sena to grab power, then in Tamil Nadu BJP seems to have won the organic split of the main opposition party – AIADMK – allowing it to occupy the opposition space.

The internal leadership tussle in the AIADMK that led to its vertical split into two factions led by the former chief minister has today turned into a protracted legal battle with twists and turns.

The latest twist, which came with an order from the Madras High Court on Wednesday, has intensified the battle for control of the party led and built by MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa and its political legacy. After the Madras High Court quashed O Panneerselvam’s expulsion from the party, another former chief minister, Edapaddi Palaniswami, has rejected his opponent’s plea for reconciliation and challenged the Supreme Court’s order nullifying the decisions taken at the party’s previous general council meeting.

The Madras High Court had on Wednesday ordered a fresh AIADMK general council meeting to be held in the presence of the commissioner.

According to the court, the meeting will be convened and jointly organized by the two coordinators of the AIADMK – OPS and EPS. Now, this ruling comes as a boost to OPS, giving him a temporary victory, prolonging the internal dispute, as his opponent EPS is quite reluctant to compromise.

Allegedly emboldened by the Madras High Court ruling that nullified the General Council’s decisions and reinstated his co-leadership of the AIADMK, OPS decided to fight for control of the party. It will certainly be a morale booster for him as he has forced EPS to go back to the drawing board. This time, it will be much more difficult for the EPS to oust the opponent, as the court has ordered that the new general council meeting must be held in the presence of the commissioner in order to be organized in accordance with party laws and rules. , rules and regulations.

With the AIADMK thus busy with its two top leaders fighting for party control, another major beneficiary is the ruling DMK, which will get time and opportunity to consolidate its position and continue its rule without fear of opposition scrutiny.

Whatever opposition is coming to the ruling grace period will come from the BJP for now.

In fact, as far as the AIADMK is concerned, the younger but aggressive BJP leader, state BJP president K Annamalai, has become the main opposition voice that can be seen and heard in the state. He is even forcing the DMK to follow on a few issues.

The state BJP is said to be forming alliances with smaller outfits on its own and is ready to take on leaders like Captain Vijayakanth, Pattali Makkal Katchi and already has the nod from OPS to work with it. The BJP alone would like the two factions of the AIADMK to be together and its old alliance with the AIADMK will continue well into the future, into the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and beyond.

The BJP’s state unit has been working on a plan to Occupy the Opposition Space, but has so far been careful to maintain a public attitude that it has nothing to do with internal developments in the AIADMK. However, there is a perception that the BJP was trying to usurp the opposition space. Its MLAs too allege that the BJP pushed against the DMK in the state assembly.

Given this, a weakened AIADMK, embroiled in a pitched war within itself, presents the BJP with the opportunity it has been waiting for – to dictate the terms and gain an upper hand in any future partnerships or alliances for the elections.

(Lakshmana Venkat Kuchi is a senior reporter who covers social, economic and political issues and is also interested in sports. He has worked with prominent news organizations.)

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