Amid the tussle for control of the AIADMK between former chief ministers Edappadi Palaniswami and O Pannerselvam, the party on Friday announced that the polls to elect the general secretary will be held on March 26.
A release signed by the party’s election officers R Vishwanathan and Pollachi Jeyaraman stated, “(The) General Secretary would be elected by Party primary member and from March 18 nomination begins. The last day for the nomination is March 19 and the scrutiny of the nomination is on March 20. On March 21 nominations can be withdrawn and on March 26 election would be held and on March 27 counting would happen.” “It is also noted that according to the AIADMK Party bylaw 20(A) section 2 Party General Secretary would be elected by the primary member of the party. And also Interested cadres can get the application from the party headquarters in Royapettah on payment of Rs 25,000,” it read.
It is expected that the AIADMK’s interim general secretary, Palaniswami, will be elected the general secretary unopposed.
Earlier in March, the Madras High Court refused to pass an interim order on a plea by former CM Panneerselvam’s confidante, Manoj Pandian, seeking an interim stay on the resolutions passed at the AIADMK General Council meeting on July 11, last year.
At the meeting, Palaniswami (EPS) was made the interim general secretary of the party.
MLA and advocate Manoj Pandian, from the Pannerselvam camp, filed a plea requesting the court to cancel the resolution in which EPS was elected as the interim general secretary.
The plea also requested the court to cancel the resolution passed to remove OPS, Vaithialingam, JCD Prabhakar and Manoj Pandiyan.
The plea filed by Pandiyan came up for hearing before Justice Dinesh Maheshwari of Madras High Court on Friday. Justice Maheshwari, while not expressing his opinion on the merits of the civil suit filed by Pandian, said he only wanted to hear the AIADMK and EPS before taking a call on the application for an interim injunction.
Justice Maheshwari ordered the filing of a counter-reply at least two days before the next hearing on March 17.
In February, the Supreme Court upheld the decision by the division bench of Madras High Court restoring EPS as the AIADMK’s single leader and rejecting Panneerselvam’s plea allowing EPS to continue as the party’s interim general secretary.
The judgement was pronounced by a bench headed by justice Maheshwari.
The court was hearing a batch of pleas filed in connection with the power tussle between OPS and EPS over the leadership of the AIADMK.
On January 11, the apex court bench reserved its verdict on the pleas relating to the tussle for control of the AIADMK between the two former chief ministers.
OPS moved the Supreme Court against Madras HC’s judgment restoring EPS as the party’s single leader.
On September 2, 2022, a division bench of Madras HC, on a plea filed by EPS, set aside a single judge’s order dated August 17 nullifying the results of the July 11 general council and ordering status quo ante as on June 23 in AIADMK affairs.
At its General Council meeting on July 11, the dual-leadership model in the AIADMK was done away with and OPS was expelled from the party for “anti-party” activities. Further, at the meeting, EPS was elevated as the party’s interim general secretary.
Since the death of former chief minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary J Jayalalithaa, the party is alleged to have dual leadership, with OPS and EPS leading the AIADMK as coordinator and joint coordinator respectively.
However, recently, disputes arose between both leaders, with the EPS group pressing for single leadership.