Chennai: AIADMK on Wednesday announced that it will field Chief Minister K. Palaniswami as the party's chief ministerial candidate for the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.
The decision comes after intense speculation that Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam would stake a claim to the chief minister's post. There have been reports of a tussle between the two for the party's electoral leadership. However, as he caught wind of the public sentiment, it was Panneerselvam himself who after withdrawing from the bid, proposed the name of Palaniswami, and later announced the name to the media at the party headquarters here.
The BJP, an ally of AIADMK in the state and the Centre, is also said to be in favour of Palaniswami as chief ministerial candidate.
Accepting the demand of Panneerselvam, the party has also announced the setting up of a 11-member steering committee to guide the party. Going by the factions in the party, the 11-member panel is slightly weighed in favour of Panneerselvam, a move seen as a way of keeping his faction satisfied to that extent.
The formation of the steering committee was announced by party Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister Palaniswami.
The members of the steering committee are: Dindigul C. Sreenivasan, S.P. Velumani, P. Thangamani, C.Ve.Shanmugam, D. Jayakumar, R.Kamaraj, Manoj Pandian, J.C.D. Prabhakar, P. Mohan, Gopalakrishnan and Manickam.
Party cadres burst crackers and distributed sweets at the party headquarters in celebration of the announcement.
At the recent meeting of the Executive Committee of the party, the issue of announcing the Chief Ministerial candidate for the 2021 assembly elections had led to heated discussions between supporters of the two factions.