AIADMK interim chief Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) on Saturday filed nomination for election to the party’s powerful General Secretary post, setting the ball rolling for his ultimate elevation, as rival leader O Panneerselvan slammed the “pickpocket-like” approach of the EPS camp in holding the polls, alleging due party process was not followed.
EPS, as Mr Palaniswami is addressed, filed his nomination at the party headquarters, nearly a month after the Supreme Court greenflagged his continuance as the AIADMK interim chief, dealing a blow to Mr Pannerselvam (OPS) in his running feud with his rival over the leadership issue.
The OPS camp decried the election process and senior party leader Panruti S Ramachandran said they will move the court over the issue, even as Mr Panneerselvam indicated he will meet the people on the matter. A large conference will be held in Tiruchirappalli early April as part of the next course of action, he added.
Within hours of Mr Palaniswami filing the nomination, Mr Panneerselvam addressed a press conference, alleging the election process was not in conformity with party laws.
The organisational polls have to be held once in five years and the highest office is elected by primary members. Only the elected General Secretary can later conduct organisational polls and appoint functionaries. Further, membership forms have to be given during this period to include new members and renew membership for existing ones, following which identity cards have to be given for both, he said.
“The election to the top post will be held only after completion of these processes. There is no due process and they want to hold the election for the general secretary post like a pickpocket doing away (with one’s purse)..is this acceptable,” he asked.
The Palaniswami-led AIADMK had earlier announced the schedule for the election for the General Secretary post, announcing the election will be held on March 23.
Mr Palaniswami’s election is expected to be unanimous as the party has been rallying behind him, as manifested in the July 11, 2022 General Council where OPS and some of his aides were expelled. The GC resolutions have been challenged in the Madras High Court by OPS’ camp.
OPS also took on his rival over his leadership abilities, pointing out the various electoral losses since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, including the recent Erode (East) byelection where the DMK-led ruling coalition candidate, EVKS Elangovan of the Congress trumped Mr Palaniswami’s pick K S Thennarasu by more than 66,000 votes.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)