Chennai:For the first time after 1991, the ruling AIADMK would be facing the Assembly polls by projecting a Chief Ministerial candidate, when Deputy CM and party coordinator O Panneerselvam announced the name of CM and Joint Coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami as the nominee.
''I am happy to announce that our dear brother Palaniswami will be the victorious Chief Ministerial candidate of the AIADMK for the 2021 Assembly elections," he said at a crowded press conference at the party headquarters.
He said the unanimous decision was taken in consultations with party presidium chairman E Madusudhanan, Deputy Coordinators and other office bearers.
''Our party is founded by MGR in name of Anna. MGR createda revolution by making it as a political movement and won three successive terms, which no one has achieved'', he said.
''Later, Our Amma (late leader J Jayalalithaa) dedicated herself for the growth of the party on the same path of MGR by. His dreams were that party and government should be with cadres
and we are doing it now,'' he said.
The announcement of Mr Palaniswami as the CM candidatewas welcomed by bursting of crackers, distribution of sweets and dancing to the beating of drums by scores of cadres, who
thronged the party office right from the morning.
After MGR, the AIADMK faced the 1991 elections by projecting Ms Jayalalithaa as the Chief Minister and she remained the undisputed choice till her death in December 2016.
In May 2016 polls, she bucked the trend and guided the party to a second successive term in the elections.
However, after her death, Mr Panneerselvam, who wasMs Jayalalithaa's man-Friday, having been twice madeas CM earlier, was again nominated to the post for the third time in December 2016.
After he resigned from the post revolting against expelled interim general Secretary and Jayalalithaa's close aide V K Sasikala, whose CM's ambitions came crashing down following her conviction in the DA case, Mr Palaniswami was made the CM.
After successfully running the government for close to four years since February 2017, fissures emergedin the party over the choice of CM nominee for the 2021 Assembly polls, with both Mr Palaniswami andMr Paneerselvam contending for the post.
However, after marathon discussions, the issue was amicably resolved by projecting Mr Palaniswami as the CM face of AIADMK, well ahead of the elections due in April-May 2021.(UNI)