Ending a months-long feud between the two warring top leaders of the AIADMK, the Madras High Court moment rejected expelled leader O Panneerselvam’s (OPS) challenge to AIADMK principal Edappadi K Palaniswami’s elevation to the party’s important General Secretary post.
The party was also quick to formally advertise EPS as its General Secretary, and fests broke out at the party headquarters. Team OPS, which before hit out at Edappadi K Palaniswami, calling his move to file nomination for election to the party’s top post a “pickpocket- suchlike” approach, has now moved an appeal to a two-judge bench.
The court was hearing a clutch of desires challenging the elevation of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, also addressed as EPS, as the AIADMK’s interim general clerk by the party’s general council in July last time. This month, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for EPS to continue serving as the interim leader, but it deferred to the Madras High Court’s verdict about the legality of the judgments rendered and amendments to the party bylaws made at the general council. The organizational pates have to be held formally five times and the loftiest office is tagged by primary members. Only the tagged General Secretary can latterly conduct organizational pates and appoint functionaries.
Further, class forms have to be given during this period to include new members and renew class for being bones, following which identity cards have to be given for both, he said. “The election to the top post will be held only after the completion of these processes. There’s no due process, and they want to hold the election for the general clerk post like a pickpocket doing down (with one’s bag). Is this respectable?” OPS asked. AIADMK’s general council, its top decision-making body, had on July 11th, 2022, expelled OPS, along with his sympathizers, for contended anti-party conditioning. OPS had held the reputation of being the late party chief J Jayalalithaa’s political successor at law, whilst EPS delighted in enlisting the aid of party members.
Jayalalithaa had doubly hand-picked OPS to be her stage-in-chief minister when she had to step down following her conviction. Though OPS was elevated for the third time just before she failed, Jayalalitha’s assistant VK Sasikala, who compactly took over the party, replaced him with EPS after he mutinied against her. Still, in a sensational political twist, both leaders renovated and expelled Sasikala when she was in jail. OPS came the number one in the party and EPS his deputy. In the government, OPS came Chief Minister EPS’ deputy. After a series of electoral losses, EPS has said the model isn’t working while OPS desperately approached courts to retain power over the party.
The AIADMK suffered four successive losses under the binary leadership model since the 2019 Lok Sabha pates, including the recent Erode (East) by-election where the DMK-led ruling coalition seeker, EVKS Elangovan of the Congress trumped Mr. Palaniswami’s pick KS Thennarasu by further than 66,000 votes. The emendations made to the party’s by-laws also have made it delicate for an ordinary party worker to aspire for the top job as party author MGR envisaged. Seen as an attempt by EPS to keep his rival OPS down, only those campaigners who get ten-quarter registers to propose and another fox to second can file nomination.