The decks are clear for Edappadi K Palanisamy to take over the AIADMK party as its General Secretary at the July 11 meeting to be held in Chennai. A division bench of the Madras High Court on July 7 dismissed a contempt application seeking to punish the former CM and AIADMK leader and his supporters for alleged non-implementation of its earlier orders. The bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and Sundar Mohan also dismissed the applications to stay the general council meeting and the one against Tamil Magan Hussain, who had been nominated as the permanent presidium chairman of the party at its June 23 general council meeting. Since their orders passed in the small hours of June 23 had been stayed by the Supreme Court on July 6, the judges said they were dismissing the applications and petitions. OPS has lost the battle because EPS was able to gather a brute majority favouring a “single leader” rule that had been in force till the death of party supremo and CM J Jayalalithaa in 2016. EPS ran a sustained campaign in the background to woo all important party functionaries to his side. His clever portrayal of OPS as a “double agent” leaning towards Sasikala as well as the ruling DMK helped swing support. Only the anointing of EPS as leader of the principal Opposition party in TN remains to be completed now.