The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) will hold a general body meeting on Saturday where key issues including the party's alliance with the BJP and the release of Sasikala are likely to be some of the matters of discussion. The key general body meeting will be presided by party president E Madhusudhanan while CM Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy DM O Pannerselvam are also set to be present in the meet. AIADMK's alliance with BJP, the release of Sasikala & the possible impact of the same on the upcoming Assembly elections, the ratifying of the 11-member steering committee formed earlier in October are some of the issues to be discussed during the meeting, as per sources.
AIADMK's Executive body and General Council, set to meet on Saturday at 11 am, is the highest decision-making body of the party. It is also pertinent to point out that this will be the first elections for AIADMK since 1991 to field a different CM candidate apart from ex-party chief J Jayalalithaa. Edappadi Palaniswami was declared AIADMK's CM candidate on October 7 by an 11-member steering committee that was constituted in October 2020.
Further, the ruling party's alliance with the BJP is also said to be a topic of discussion during the meeting, as per sources. The friction between the NDA allies become more evident over differing statements made by AIADMK and BJP leaders on the CM face for the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls. Another issue likely to be discussed during AIADMK's general body meeting is the release of VK Sasikala, the former aide of J Jayalalithaa who is currently serving a jail sentence for disproportionate assets case that she was convicted for back in 2017.
Meanwhile, the tussle between AIADMK and its saffron ally BJP continues as the latter is yet to announce the alliance's CM candidate formally. In its national party meet, AIADMK Deputy Coordinator K P Munusamy said that the BJP has to endorse EPS' candidature for the CM's post and agree to its other terms — such as 'non-participation' in government's seat-sharing decision process — and if not, should rethink its 2021 electoral options.
In response, BJP Tamil Nadu president L Murugan said that AIADMK-BJP ties are "strong", after meeting both EPS and OPS. BJP leaders are hesitant to openly declare EPS their CM candidate and have placed the ball at the court of Central leadership. Even as superstar Rajinikanth who was to launch his party in January, was expected to support the BJP, Stalin's estranged brother Alagiri is also in talks with the BJP, as per sources. Thus, sources say BJP is weighing all options before its final announcement.
Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu are due during April-May 2021 and the political parties have started their campaign. While DMK's MK Stalin is eyeing becoming Chief Minister for the first time, AIADMK has arrived at reconciliation between two warring factions - of Deputy CM O Pannerselvam (OPS) and CM E Palaniswamy (EPS). Incumbent E Palaniswamy has been named as its CM candidate and O Panneerselvam as the chief of the 11-member steering committee. On the other side, AIADMK has said that they are the big-brother within the NDA alliance. Meanwhile, Kamal Hassan is on a campaign trail and Alagiri has said that the launch of his political party will be in January. Superstar Rajinikanth who was about to launch his party this year has backed out due to health reasons.