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AIADMK tussle: EPS is new boss, OPS expelled

Source: PTI
Last updated on: July 11, 2022 12:26 IST
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On expected lines, Tamil Nadu's principal opposition party the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Monday elected Edappady K Palaniswami as its interim general secretary and vested in him full powers to helm the organisation.

IMAGE: AIADMK General Council Meeting presided by E Palaniswami underway at party office, in Chennai. Photograph: @KovaiSathyan/Twitter

The AIADMK general souncil meet also expelled rival leader O Panneerselvam from the party's primary membership and his post of treasurer.

Amid a big round of applause from the general council members, at its meeting at a marriage hall in Chennai, a special resolution moved by senior leader Natham R Viswanathan to remove Panneerslvam and his supporters was adopted unanimously.

The resolution accused Panneerselvam of siding with the DMK regime and having ties with the ruling party leaders and working to weaken the AIADMK. OPS acted against the party interests, its goals and principles. He took steps including approaching police to stall the June 23 General Council meet, which was jointly convened by him along with Palaniswami. The AIADMK alleged that Panneerselvam pursued selfish interests.

The party expelled Panneerselvam from his post of treasurer and primary membership. It also expelled his supporters, R Vaithilingam, P H Manoj Pandian -- both legislators and ex-MLA JCD Prabakar.

 

Responding, Panneerselvam said he was elected as Coordinator by "1.5 crore" party workers and that neither Palaniswami nor another leader, K P Munusamy, had the right to expel him.

Condemning the two for expelling him "uniltaerally" and against party rules, Panneerselvam said "I expel them from primary membership," of the AIADMK.

Responding to reporters' queries on the next course of action, he said he would approach the courts with the support of party workers and secure justice.

In its executive committee and general council meeting held in Chennai, the AIADMK endorsed scrapping the erstwhile top two positions of coordinator and joint coordinator held by O Panneerselvam (OPS) and Palaniswami, respectively.

The party has also formally resolved to hold organisational polls in four months to elect the general secretary. It has amended several bylaws, which includes fresh norms and prerequisites to fight for the top party position of general secretary.

In total, 16 resolutions were adopted. While Panneerselvam is the party treasurer, senior leader and former minister C Vijayabaskar presented accounts related to party finances in the meet. It is seen as a clear indication that OPS would soon be eased out of his position.

The first resolution extended its greetings to party men elected in the recent organisational polls for various levels. The second resolution urged the Centre to confer 'Bharat Ratna' on late leaders -- social justice icon Periyar E V Ramasamy, Dravidian movement's father figure CN Annadurai, and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa.

Incidentally, Jayalalithaa helmed the party for decades as its powerful general secretary while her close aide, VK Sasikala, was made interim general secretary for a brief period following the former's death in December 2016.

Sasikala, who was later convicted and sentenced in a disproportionate assets case, was subsequently sacked from the post in 2017 by a then AIADMK GC.

The late chief minister J Jayalalithaa held the GS post till her death in December 2016.

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