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The tumultuous developments in the AIADMK, which led to the crowning of E Palaniswami (EPS) as the most powerful man in the party and the ousting of O Panneerselvam or OPS, may at first sight seem like a setback for the BJP. In the long power struggle between the two leaders, the BJP has been seen as favoring the OPS. However, party leaders insist, a strong and united AIADMK that could emerge after the leadership debate is settled is good news for the BJP.

Senior leaders, who have been closely involved in the BJP’s attempts to gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu, say there could be a short-term setback due to the party’s association with the OPS. However, the AIADMK emerging as “a cohesive, coherent and consolidated force…would help the BJP in the long run,” one leader said.

Until the end, O Panneerselvam or OPS did not stop fighting, in the party and outside, from the High Court to the Supreme Court. On Monday, the 71-year-old seemed to have finally reached an impasse, after being expelled from the AIADMK along with his collaborators.

The AIADMK’s latest crisis began to boil over last month after the E Palaniswami or EPS faction proposed that the party revert to a one-leader system to check its successive election debacles since 2019. The current system, with OPS as coordinator and EPS as co-coordinator, had been introduced in 2017 to end disputes that arose after Jayalalithaa’s death.

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