In a setback for Edappadi Palaniswami, Madras high court judge G Jayachandran on Wednesday (August 17) ordered maintaining status quo as was the case on June 23, favouring AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam. With this order, his rival Edappadi K Palaniswami’s appointment as interim general secretary of the party becomes invalid.
The June 23 order related to the July 11 General Council meeting of Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party – the AIADMK.
The court also ordered for the party to hold a fresh general council meeting after appointing a commissioner to monitor this exercise. The meeting can only be convened by the coordinator and joint coordinator together and not separately. With this, the expulsion of O Panneerselvam from the party’s primary membership at the July 11 general council meeting also becomes invalid.
Amid a bitter row over the issue of the single leadership of AIADMK party, the party’s general council meeting was convened by party’s coordinator O Panneerselvam and joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami on June 23. In the meeting, all the resolutions that were about to be brought up before the council were rejected by a majority of members of the general council.
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The party’s Rajya Sabha MP, CV Shanmugam, said that they would accept any resolution only after taking a decision on the single leadership. O Panneerselvam and his supporters who were against the single leadership in the party, walked out of the general council meeting.
Subsequently, Edappadi K Palaniswami’s faction claimed that the posts of coordinator and joint coordinator ceased to be in force, as the general council on June 23 did not approve the appointment.
Based on the request from the general council members, Edappadi K Palaniswami called for another general council meeting on July 11. In the July 11 general council meeting, Edappadi K Palaniswami was elected as interim general secretary and O Panneerselvam was removed from the primary membership of the party for anti-party activities violating the party’s bylaws.
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Speaking about the judgement, AIADMK former minister D Jayakumar, who belongs to the Edappadi K Palaniswami faction, said that they would go for an appeal after a discussion with legal experts. “The success of the O Panneerselvam faction is temporary and we will fight it legally,” he said.
Meanwhile, AIADMK former minister Vaithilingam, a supporter of O Panneerselvam, said that they welcomed the judgement since it upholds the resolution of making former chief minister J Jayalalithaa as the permanent general secretary of the party.