Possibilities of AIADMK and AMMK leaders engaging in fresh rounds of talks to identify the next leader can’t be ruled out. If sources are to be believed, a couple of AIADMK seniors quoting the recent pre-poll survey results in favour of a regime change have told AIADMK leader and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and begin works for becoming the AIADMK general secretary and the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly.
Anyway, it will be a win-win situation for Palaniswami. If the AIADMK wins more seats than the Opposition DMK, Palaniswami will continue as the CM and if the government falls, the AIADMK candidates fielded by him are likely to elevate Palaniswami as the leader of the Opposition and also the next general secretary of AIADMK, an informed party senior said.
“Remember even before the elections were announced supporters of Palaniswami trounced the aspirations of both Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and Jayalalithaa’s aide VK Sasikala of controlling the AIADMK,” party’s north Chennai MGR Mandram functionary said noting that EPS has already emerged as the tall leader in the AIADMK.
However, the rank and file in the AMMK are eagerly waiting for the Assembly poll results on May 2. “By next month, the AMMK workers expect ousted AIADMK leader Sasikala to make a political statement and are hoping for a merger that will push the name of Sasikala as the party general secretary. Several AIADMK functionaries in southern districts have reached out to the Chinnamma (Sasikala’s) team, but they were hesitant to antagonise the current AIADMK leadership. If the AMMK performs well at the cost of a losing AIADMK, those who approached the Sasikala camp will facilitate the merger,” the senior who was also a former MLA told DT Next.