While the party meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:15 am, the court would give its order at 9 am.New Delhi:
The two top leaders of Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party AIADMK have been wrestling over control of the party, with the matter even being dragged to the top courts. A crucial meeting on Monday might cap the prolonged internal power struggle. Here’s your 10-point guide to this big story:The Madras High Court will pronounce its order today at 9 am on a plea by top AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam or OPS to stall a crucial party meeting which will decide the future leadership structure of the party. While the meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:15 am, the court would give its order at 9 am.O Panneerselvam or OPS, and Edappadi K Palaniswami or EPS, have for many months now locked horns over the functioning of the party with the former pushing for the current joint leadership model to continue but the latter eying for single leadership with himself as the party General Secretary.OPS used to be seen as the political heir of late party chief J Jayalalithaa while EPS enjoyed overwhelming support from party workers.Jayalalithaa had twice handpicked OPS to be her stand-in-chief minister when she had to step down following her conviction. Though OPS was elevated for the third time just before she died, Jayalalithaa’s aide VK Sasikala, who briefly took over the party, replaced him with EPS after he rebelled against her.However, in a sensational political twist, both leaders patched up and expelled Sasikala when she was in jail. OPS became the number one in the party and EPS his deputy. In the government, OPS became Chief Minister EPS’ deputy.After a series of electoral losses, EPS has said the model is not working while OPS desperately approached courts to retain power over the party.EPS has even bluntly told his rival OPS that he is not the party’s coordinator anymore. During his four-year term as chief minister, EPS consolidated his position and brought the party under his control.Meanwhile, the case is being heard in the Madras High Court over a petition filed by OPS to restrain the top decision-making body of the party.On Wednesday, the Supreme Court permitted Team EPS to go ahead with the meeting following the law, Team OPS argued the conduct of the meeting is technically illegal and hence invalid. His lawyer claimed that according to the bylaw, only the Coordinator and Joint Coordinator can convene the meeting.Team EPS has, however, claimed that as last month’s General Council did not ratify the election of dual leadership, the party is leaderless and thus a meeting to elect a stand-in General Secretary until the party’s internal election is legally valid. It says the dual leadership model made decision-making difficult. The party had suffered three successive poll defeats under the joint leadership model.