The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Wednesday announced that inceumbent Edappadi K Palaniswami will be the party’s chief ministerial candidate for Tamil Nadu Assembly election next year, reported NDTV. The announcement came after weeks of negotiation and speculation.

“The AIADMK has constituted a steering committee of 11 members for 2021 Assembly elections in the state,” said Chief Minister Palaniswami. In 2017, when two factions of the party merged, the formation of a steering committee was one of the key demands put forth by the camp led by O Panneerselvam, who is deputy chief minister now.

After the death of former AIADMK chief and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016, the party faced a major crisis as two opposing camps, led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, fought for the top post. This happened after Panneerselvam had rebelled against former AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala. However, the two factions merged later in 2017, and Palaniswami took oath as the chief minister, with Paneerselvam becoming his deputy.

The DMK now has 101 MLAs in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, while the AIADMK has 123.