Thursday, August 18, 2022

Battle in AIADMK shifts to EC, banks

The fight between ousted AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam and party interim head Edappadi K Palaniswami is now with the Election Commission and banks, with both sides determined to establish their rights.
While interim General Secretary Palaniswami has apprised the EC about the July 11 General Council meeting and the changes effected, Panneerselvam has written to the poll panel arguing that the proceedings and its decisions were null and void. While Palaniswami was elevated to the present position, Panneerselvam and two of his supporters were expelled in the party’s highest decision-making body. Panneerselvam has also written to banks stating that he is the AIADMK’s ‘coordinator and treasurer’ and that no transactions could be made without his authorisation, party sources said. The party has various accounts including Fixed Deposits with at least 2 banks. Palaniswami has written to banks that party veteran and former Minister, Dindigul C Srinivasan is the new AIADMK treasurer. Srinivasan is also the party’s organising secretary and Dindigul (West) district secretary.
Panneerselvam loyalist Vaithilingam told reporters: “Coordinator O Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator K Palaniswami were elected by primary party members through a single vote as per norms and this cannot be nullified by the General Council. Their tenure is for 5 years. Not a single resolution passed in the (July 11) General Council is valid.” Vaithilingam said Panneerselvam continued to be the party’s ‘coordinator’ and ‘treasurer’ and this is the official position as per records with the EC as well, he said adding a letter has been sent to authorities underscoring this aspect. Authorities have been urged not to accept the submissions of Palaniswami group. Rejecting claims of Palaniswami supporters that it was Panneerselvam’s loyalists who resorted to violence, Vaithilingam said EPS followers were ‘camping’ for 5 days in the locality and violence was unleashed only by them. Palaniswami camp asserted that they would legally face issues that crop up.
In December 2021, the AIADMK tweaked bylaws to strengthen the dual leadership structure and on July 11, it scrapped it and anointed Palaniswami as interim chief.
Political commentator M Bharat Kumar said the emerging scenario is on expected lines. “The matter is now with the Election Commission. As we have seen in the past, the authorities will look into the matter and may seek explanation from Palaniswami or Panneerselvam or both of them before they come to a conclusion.”
Also, now that the party headquarters in Chennai is sealed and in the wake of police case against against men belonging to both the sides for violence, verbal duel shall be the order of the day for a considerable period of time. Connected party matters would also go to court, he added.

EPS’ interim Gen Secy post invalid, I must be made leader: Sasikala

Expelled AIADMK leader and late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s close aide, V.K. Sasikala on Tuesday said that the post of interim General Secretary created for K. Palaniswami (EPS) is invalid and that she should be made the leader of the party.
She was speaking to reporters at Pudukottai amid her tour across the state to garner support for her re-entry to politics.
Sasikala said that the cadres of the AIADMK must give a fitting response to EPS for having assumed the office of the interim General Secretary by violating party rules. She also said that he does not have any authority to expel O. Panneerselvam (OPS) when his own post is invalid.
She said that the General Council Meeting of July 11 was invalid as “it was convened arbitrarily by people with selfish motives”.
“The wish of the party cadres is that I become the General Secretary and only someone chosen by the cadres can become the party General Secretary.”
She also said that during the period of Jayalalithaa, the party treasurer used to read out the financial statements of the party and in the meeting held “arbitrarily” on July 11, it was not OPS, the party treasurer who had read out the statements, which was not correct. She said that this was another reason to state the General Council meeting was invalid.
The former interim general secretary said that the people of the state and the cadres of the AIADMK are pained at the sealing of the party office and EPS will have to answer this to the party cadre in the days to come.


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