Tamil Nadu: OPS approaches Election Commission over expulsion from AIADMK

On Tuesday, OPS wrote a letter to the Election Commission stating that the resolutions passed in the general council meeting didn't bind him.

ByUmar Sharieef

Published Jul 12, 2022 | 5:37 PMUpdatedJul 25, 2022 | 3:03 PM

O Panneerselvam supporters at AIADMK headquarters

In a move to reclaim his position as coordinator of the AIADMK, O Panneerselvam (OPS) petitioned the Election Commission after being ousted from the party’s primary membership on Monday, 11 July.

The AIADMK general council meeting on Monday unanimously passed 16 resolutions, in which former joint coordinator Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) was elevated as interim general secretary, following which he expelled OPS.

OPS, with his supporters at the party’s headquarters, told reporters that he would take legal action in this regard.

OPS approaches EC

O Panneerselvam. (Creative Commons)

On Tuesday, OPS wrote a letter to the Election Commission stating that the resolutions passed in the general council meeting didn’t bind him, and that he was the party’s treasurer.

The move came after EPS wrote a letter to the banks earlier in the day claiming OPS did not have the authority to handle the party’s accounts.

Panneerselvam’s faction also approached the commission against his expulsion. He petitioned the EC that the general council meeting was invalid.

He already approached EC on 27 June and said in a memorandum that the amendments — that the party’s coordinator and joint coordinator would be chosen by election — were made to the party bylaws on December 1, 2021, by primary members of the AIADMK.

This is the argument he is now putting forward to claim that his ouster from the party was invalid because it was done by EPS as general secretary, a post to which he was not elected by AIADMK cadres but appointed by the party’s general council.

OPS, in his latest communication to the EC, sought its intervention as required under the Representation of People Act of 1951.

Two leaves

AIADMK spokesperson Nirmala Periyasamy told South First that OPS might also approach the EC to block the party’s election symbol.

“Brother OPS might try to block ‘two leaves’, the symbol of AIADMK. But that would only land him in trouble as the cadres and supporters of the party would be agitated. He is free to take any legal actions, and nothing will do him any good,” she told South First.

AIADMK candidates have already suffered due to the loss of the symbol, and it happened as late as last week, when candidates had to contest as independent because the EPS-OPS tussle led to a delay in paperwork.

Asked what the EPS faction could do to counter the move, Periyasamy replied the time would decide.

“He (OPS) has already lost supporters’ trust, as seen on many occasions. If he steps to block the symbol, as he did earlier, those left on his side will also jump ship, and he will be left alone,” she added.

In 2017, the Election Commission blocked the AIADMK’s symbol after a claim by the OPS faction during RK Nagar by-election.

However, OPS loyalist R Vaithilingam denied any such intent.

“We have petitioned the EC to give us the symbol and the administration of the AIADMK,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Periyasamy also said OPS was trying to get a seat in the BJP and another party, but did not name the latter.

The EPS faction on Tuesday also filed a complaint at the Royapettah police station against the OPS faction for allegedly breaking into the AIADMK headquarters and stealing documents.