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Groupism in AIADMK triggers talk about cross-voting in Prez poll

The confusion within the ruling AIADMK, which has now reportedly split into different groups, over the party stand on presidential polls scheduled on July 17 has led to serious talk of crossvoting within party circles.

Groupism in AIADMK triggers talk about cross-voting in Prez poll
CM Palanisamy and AIADMK Gen Secy VK Sasikala


Different views are being expressed by leaders of the different factions about who will announce whom the party’s stand on the presidential polls. While party deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran supporter and Andipatti MLA Thangatamilselvan said that the final decision would be taken by general secretary VK Sasikala or in her absence, by deputy general secretary Dinakaran, forest minister Dindigul C Srinivasan announced that chief minister Edappadi K Palanisamy will take the final call on which candidate should be supported by the AIADMK(A). 

With fissures already developing in the EPS faction as witnessed by assembly walkouts by its own MLAs on Tuesday, it needs to be seen whether there will be a consensus on supporting the presidential candidate or if even if a party whip is issued, will it be obeyed. “It is doubtful if Sasikala, Dinakaran or EPS can hold the flock together during the July 17 polls,” a senior functionary on condition of anonymity said.

 “Cross voting is possible, though the actual cross voter cannot be identified as only numbered slips will be issued” he added. “While MPs will vote in parliament, MLAs will vote in the legislature assembly’s committee room at the Secretariat in Fort St. George,” he added. 

But, political analyst Ravindaran Duraisamy told DTNext, “AIADMK votes will not matter as even without their support, NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind is assured of 65 % votes due to the backing of parties like the Shiv Sena and Janata Dal (United). However, it is PM Modi and urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu’s wish that their candidate be supported by EPS and the latter not wanting to antagonise the central government, will toe the line.”

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