OPS is a DMK agent, alleges EPS as AIADMK internal battle blows up
Amid high drama, Opposition party leader Edappadi K Palaniswami was elected the interim general secretary of the AIADMK while O Panneerselvam was sacked from the primary membership at the party’s general council meeting at a private marriage hall in Chennai on Monday (July 11).
At 9 am, even as Madras High Court was about to pronounce its orders on a plea seeking stay on the AIADMK’s special general council meeting, the party general council members assembled to decide on the unitary leadership issue in the party.
The Madras High Court allowed the party’s special general council meeting and insisted that the meeting be held as per the party’s by-law. The court also dismissed O Panneerselvam’s petition seeking a stay over the special general council meeting.
Soon after the orders were passed, O Panneerselvam along with his supporters barged into the AIADMK’s headquarters at Royapettah and a clash broke out between the supporters of EPS and OPS. In the melee, as many as 11 people were severely injured, while more than 10 vehicles were damaged.
While police were trying to bring the situation under control at the AIADMK headquarters, the party’s general council meeting passed a resolution scrapping party’s coordinator and co-cordinator positions that were earlier held by O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami respectively. The GC also passed a resolution to create the post of interim general secretary and elected Edappadi K Palaniswami the interim general secretary amid huge roar and applause by the GC members.
The GC members also raised slogans to remove OPS and his supporters from the party. Accepting the GC members’ demand, a special resolution was brought in the GC and subsequently, O Panneerselvam was removed from the party’s treasurer position and primary membership of the party for violating the party’s by-law. The GC also sacked OPS supporters, Manoj Pandian, Vaithilingam and JCD Prabhakaran, for their anti-party activities.
Minutes after the resolution was passed at the GC, OPS, who was at the party headquarters with his supporters, told the media that Edappadi K Palaniswami and KP Munusamy, a senior AIADMK leader, do not have the power to remove him from the party. “Now I am sacking Edappadi K Palaniswami and KP Munusamy for arbitrarily working and violating the party’s by-law,” OPS said. He also said that he would approach the court and seek due justice with the support of the party workers.
At the GC, Edappadi K Palaniswami slammed O Panneerselvam and termed him the agent of DMK. “Ever since the issue cropped up, senior leaders met him (OPS) several times and convinced him over the issue. But, he was not ready for it. He keeps saying he sacrificed a lot, but in reality, he has not sacrificed anything,” Edappadi K Palaniswami spoke in front of the GC members.
Though EPS was aware of the clash at the AIADMK headquarters, EPS asked the GC members to visit the party office after the GC meeting was over.
Meanwhile, as high tension prevailed at AIADMK headquarters in Royapettah in Chennai, revenue officials along with the police personnel issued orders under section 144 CrPC and asked OPS to leave the office. After staging a sit-in protest for a while, OPS left the office. Officials along with the police sealed the party office and issued prohibitory orders in the locality.
Former AIADMK minister D Jayakumar said that O Panneerselvam has become the B Team of DMK. “He works at the behest of DMK. AIADMK was never involved in the other party’s internal affairs. It was the AIADMK that saved Arivalayam(DMK Headquarters) when MDMK members tried to occupy it. But, the DMK is not behaving the same way. We will legally handle the issue,” Jayakumar said.