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Former TN CM Palaniswami Faces Enemies Within And Without

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami won his first battle post-polls when he was elected “unanimously” as leader of the AIADMK legislature party and appointed as Leader Of The Opposition. O Panneerselvam, former deputy CM, also former CM, waged a protracted bitter fight for the post until he knew he would be outvoted in the party and compromised. But the war is far from over.  EPS was bent upon retaining control of the party for the simple reason that OPS is seen as a Sasikala loyalist who would like to bring back the discredited “General Secretary” into the AIADMK fold. OPS may have been shabbily treated by the Sasikala’s Mannargudi Thevar clan when he was interim CM after Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016. He was said to have even complained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about it but the PM laughed it away saying he was CM with the police department under him and should face no threat from anyone. EPS knows he has to be on constant guard. Though Sasikala announced her retirement from active politics, it was believed that it was strategic move on her part to wait for election results and try to take back the party if it was trounced in the polls. The good performance by EPS has saved him but his position and the party is safe only for now.