EPS visits AIADMK office after Madras high court order, rules out OPS’ return – Hindustan Times

Chennai News

AIADMK leader Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS), who visited the party headquarters in Chennai on Thursday for the first time after being elected as interim general secretary on July 11, described rival group leader O Panneerselvam (OPS) as a “chameleon” while ruling out his re-entry into the party.

In a show of strength, Palaniswami received a rousing reception from AIADMK workers when he arrived at the party office after emerging victorious against OPS in an intra-party power tussle.

The AIADMK headquarters in the heart of the city’s Royapettah had been out of bounds since July 11. On that day when the party was proceeding to elect EPS as interim general secretary during the general council meeting, OPS boycotted it and made his way to the headquarters. A clash between supporters of EPS and OPS led to a law and order problem, prompting authorities to seal the AIADMK headquarters. The party also expelled OPS on the same day.

Both leaders went to court to remove the seal, but the Madras HC handed over the possession of the HQ to EPS recognising him as the party head based on the changes in the AIADMK.

The court had also restrained that no one should enter the headquarters for a month to prevent further clashes. The CB-CID began its probe on Wednesday into the clashes, and as EPS has charged that OPS stole documents from the party office.

Hundreds of cadres lined up along the route to headquarters cheering him on and showering rose petals on his car. Speaking to the press at the headquarters, EPS said there was no split in the AIADMK, but the general council took action against a few who acted against the party’s interests by betraying the AIADMK and embarrassing the party.

“A split is if the party breaks apart into two. This isn’t a split,” said EPS flanked by senior leaders.

EPS went on to describe OPS as a “chameleon”. “He in fact changes his colours even more often,” EPS said while categorically stating that the party will not forgive such a person.

“He (OPS) is not some ordinary cadre, he holds a top post in the party and he came to the headquarters with rowdy elements. How will the cadres accept the person who orchestrated the attack at the headquarters? This is our holy place.”

Reacting to the developments, OPS supporter and veteran leader JCD Prabhakar, who was also expelled, said time will teach a lesson to EPS and his supporters.

“I watched his (EPS) interview. It was very painful,” Prabhakar said. “The whole world knows both of them were elected in December 2021 as AIADMK’s dual leaders. He isn’t under the power of our OPS annan (brother). When OPS toured the south region, he received a mammoth welcome. EPS is underestimating his strength.”

OPS was still fighting his case in what was increasingly looking like a losing battle. Another OPS supporter VA Pughazhendi, who stands expelled from the party, filed an online complaint with the Tamil Nadu DGP on Wednesday against EPS for entering headquarters.

“Honourable high court has passed an order to prevent AIADMK members and volunteers from entering the party headquarters. The Supreme Court also took up the petition and ordered the petitioners to file a counter-affidavit in the matter,” the complaint stated.

“Because of the cases pending before the high court and Supreme Court, the AIADMK workers haven’t entered the premises for 47 days. But, suddenly EPS had announced (on September 7) that he will be visiting the headquarters along with his supporters on September 8,” he said in the complaint.

Previously, OPS was the coordinator and EPS was the joint coordinator of the AIADMK.



    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master’s in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/eps-visits-aiadmk-office-after-madras-high-court-order-rules-out-ops-return-101662661792204.html