EPS, Armed With Court Order, Returns To AIADMK Office As Party Boss

In a show of strength, hundreds of AIADMK workers, and elected MLAs and MPs gave Edappadi Palaniswami a rousing reception.

Edappadi Palaniswami paid tributes to the statues of MGR and Jayalalithaa.

Chennai:

AIADMK leader Edappadi Palaniswami, known as EPS, today returned to the party headquarters for the first time after a power tussle ended with him becoming the party's interim boss.

In a show of strength, hundreds of party workers, and elected MLAs and MPs gave Mr Palaniswami a rousing reception as he paid tributes to the statues of the former Tamil Nadu chief ministers, MG Ramachandran (MGR) and J Jayalalithaa.

Last week, the Madras High Court quashed an earlier single judge order and approved the AIADMK leader's elevation as the party's interim general secretary and the expulsion of his rival and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, known as OPS.

The earlier order by a single judge bench had said that the meeting of the AIADMK general council on July 11, in which EPS was elevated as the party boss and OPS was expelled, was convened unilaterally by EPS. It had ordered status quo as before the party's June 30 meet thereby restoring dual leadership of the party under OPS.

However, EPS had turned down his rival's call to work together leading to OPS challenging the Madras High Court order in the Supreme Court.

Supporters of the two leaders had even clashed outside the party headquarters in Chennai following the July 11 elevation of EPS as the AIADMK boss. The building was then sealed until the Madras High Court directed that it be handed over to EPS. Investigations into the violent clashes began yesterday.

It was during this dual leadership that the AIADMK had forged an alliance with the BJP and suffered defeats in three consecutive elections after Jayalalithaa's death in 2016. AIADMK leaders supporting EPS claim decision-making was difficult in the dual-leadership mode which led to the party's poor performance in elections.

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