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AIADMK sacks Sasikala, says 'Jayalalithaa to remain eternal general secretary'

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 12, 2017 15:26 IST
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TTV Dinakaran, Sasikala's nephew, sought to play down party's decision, indicating court could have a final say on the matter. 

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's top policy making body on Tuesday showed the door to incarcerated interim general secretary VK Sasikala, removing her from the post and declaring all appointments made by her as invalid.

The general council meet also did away with the powerful general secretary post, adopting resolutions to these effect.

The keenly awaited meeting declared as invalid all appointments and removals made by Sasikala till February 15 when she surrendered in a Bengaluru court in connection with a corruption case.

With the general council declaring that decisions taken by Sasikala were not valid, the appointment of her nephew TTV Dinkaran to the post by her is also annuled by default.

Sasikala was appointed to the post on December 29 by the AIADMK general council in the aftermath of the death of party supremo J Jayalalithaa.

However, a day after the Supreme Court convicted her and two others in a disproportionate assets case, she had surrendered in the court and was lodged in the central prison in Bengaluru on February 15.

Tuesday's meeting also decided to create two new posts -- coordinator and joint coordinator to run the party.

Party top leaders deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and chief minister K Palaniswami will be the coordinator and joint coordinator respectively till elections are held to the posts.

Meeting after the green signal by the Madras high court, which declined a plea to stay the event, the general council also gave administrative powers to the coordinator and the joint coordinator to steer the party.

"Following an atmosphere of shock of Amma's (Jayalalithaa) untimely death and concern, VK Sasikala was appointed as interim general secretary to attend to routine party work.

"This general council unanimously resolves to cancel her appointment made on December 29, 2016. (It also) resolves that all those appointments and removals made by her between December 30, 2016 and February 15, 2017 are not valid," the meeting, the second since Jayalalithaa's death, resolved.

After the merger of the factions led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam on August 21, a senior functionary has said steps would be taken to remove Sasikala from the top party post, a key demand of then rebel camp for the unification.

The move triggered a rebellion by 19 MLAs loyal to sidelined deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran who met Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidayasagar Rao and expressed lack of confidence in the chief minister.

Before proceeding to Bengaluru court, Sasikala had re-inducted Dinakaran and appointed him as her deputy. She had also reinstated another of her relative S Venkatesh in the AIADMK.

In 2011, Sasikala and scores of her relatives, including Dinakaran and Venkatesh, were expelled from the AIADMK by then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa though she later re-inducted the former, her close aide, alone.

The general council also resolved that appointments and other changes made by Dinakaran were not valid and that they were not 'acceptable' to party laws.

On doing away with the general secretary post, the council, which described Jayalalithaa as "permanent" general secretary, said none can fill the void caused by her demise and party founder the late M G Ramachandran.

"Accordingly, bylaw no.43 is being amended. The general council unanimously approves this," it said.

The meeting was attended by, among others, Palaniswami and Panneerselvam and presided over by party presidium chairman E Madusudhanan.

Dinakaran plays down ouster of Sasikala

Meanwhile, Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran sought to play down party's decision, indicating court could have a final say on the matter.

A combative Dinakaran also dubbed the general council meeting, where the decision was taken, as a 'public meeting' and said he had undertaken efforts to "send home this regime" (led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami).

Referring to the Madras high court's order that decisions taken at the general council will be subject to the final outcome of an appeal on the matter, he said only then will it be known if the ouster of Sasikala was 'valid.'

While hearing an appeal by an MLA of Dinakaran faction against a single judge's order dismissing his plea for a stay on the general council meeting, the court on Monday gave the go ahead for the meeting and posted the matter to October 23.

"So we need not make big (a big issue) of it," Dinakaran, who is involved in a tussle for power with Palaniswami, said about the General council resolution on Sasikala.

He said it was the same decision-making body which last year appointed her to the post of interim general secretary.

Training his guns against "Palaniswami and Co", Dinakaran alleged the chief minister was not taking forward the policies of late Jayalalithaa as being claimed by him.

This was evident in the implementation of the National Entrance Cum Eligibility Test, he charged.

He said members in the government were thinking that they were the real AIADMK because they were in power, but their real strength would be known at the time of elections.

"All those with the Palaniswami group will come back to us if the government is not there," claimed Dinakaran, who was appointed deputy general secretary in February last by Sasikala just before she left for Bengaluru to serve her term in the disproportionate assets case.

The unified AIADMK had earlier said Dinakaran had been removed from the post on August 10 itself. 

"Whoever I meet, whether it is party supporters, youth or general public, want this government to go. I have undertaken efforts to send this regime home," he said.

"Betrayal has aligned with betrayal," he said in an apparent reference to the August 21 merger of the two factions led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam.

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