‘Blessings of MGR and Amma,’ EPS tells South First as Supreme Court deems him AIADMK chief

The apex court on Thursday dismissed the pleas filed by O Panneerselvam and others challenging the general council's decision on Palaniswami.

ByVinodh Arulappan

Published Feb 23, 2023 | 3:29 PMUpdated Feb 23, 2023 | 4:02 PM

‘Blessings of MGR and Amma,’ EPS tells South First as Supreme Court deems him AIADMK chief

Dismissing the petitions filed by O Panneerselvam and others challenging the appointment of Edappadi K Palaniswami as the interim general secretary of the AIADMK by its general council, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the decision of a Division Bench of Madras High Court which validated Palaniswami’s appointment.

An elated Palaniswami told South First: “I am happy, and with the blessings of MGR and Amma (Jayalalithaa), the party will be victorious in all the steps. The cadres are always with us, and the AIADMK will win in the Erode byelection.”

Meanwhile, pronouncing the judgement, which was reserved on 12 January, Justices Dinesh Maheswari and Hrishikesh Roy held that the order passed by the Division Bench of the Madras High Court on 2 September, 2022, stood affirmed.

“We need to make it clear again that though several submissions have been made on behalf of the appellants assailing the validity and correctness of the resolutions said to have been adopted in the meeting dated 11 July, 2022, and in counter to that, respondents have attempted to justify the resolutions, but we have chosen not to deal with any of those contentions”, the judges said.

The Supreme Court also made it clear that none of the observations made in the present case would have any bearing on the pending civil suits relating to these appeals, and that those suits would proceed on their own merits in accordance with the law.

On 2 September last year, a Division Bench of Justice M Duraiswamy and Justice Sunder Mohan of the Madras High Court acknowledged the general council meeting held on 11 July, and upheld the appointment of Palaniswami as interim general secretary of the AIADMK and the expulsion of Panneerselvam from the party.

Challenging this, Panneerselvam and others filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Related: Amid AIADMK tussle, EPS invited to G20 meet as OPS left out

Celebrations in EPS camp

EPS AIADMK Supreme Court

EPS faction of the AIADMK celebrating with sweets after the Supreme Court verdict. (Supplied)

AIADMK cadres and the functionaries celebrated the judgment by distributing sweets and bursting crackers throughout the state.

At the party office on Lloyd’s Road in Chennai, the supporters of Palaniswami garlanded the statues of MGR, the founder of the AIADMK, and the former party chief J Jayalalithaa.

A few cadres even made a milk abishekham of the portrait of Palaniswami.

While the judgement was being pronounced, Palaniswami was at a marriage function in Kunnathur Chathiram in Madurai.

The former Tamil Nadu chief minister was conducting the marriage of 51 couples, including the daughter of former revenue minister RB Udhayakumar.

When the news of the verdict spread, cadres garlanded Palaniswami and presented him with a Vel as a symbol of victory.

No room for OPS

Speaking at the marriage function, Palaniswami said that he had been worried about the judgment and had had a sleepless night.

“While entering the marriage hall, though I had a smile on my lips, my heart was terrified. But after garlanding the statues of MGR and Amma, I got the good news about the verdict. Both the leaders had blessed me like a God,” Palaniswami said.

He requested that the AIADMK not be referred to as a party that had four factions.

“The AIADMK is unified and strengthened now. The daydream of destroying the party by a few has been demolished,” he stated.

After the function, Palaniswami told reporters: “Some Ettappars (a Tamil reference to betrayers), who worked as the DMK’s B-team and wanted to finish off the AIADMK, have been unmasked today.”

He further said that he would welcome back the cadres and functionaries who left the party in ignorance, barring a few.

“Panneerselvam is not in the party any more. I do not wish to talk about him, and he has no connections with the AIADMK,” Palaniswami affirmed.

Related: Will removal of OPS from AIADMK affect party’s Thevar vote bank?

In the OPS Camp

When South First contacted Panneerselvam, he said that he would talk about it later.

Sources close to Panneerselvam told South First that OPS would comment on the verdict after he read the judgement in full.

They claimed that the caders were with OPS and this was a temporary win for EPS.

They added that a civil suit was pending in a lower court, and that OPS would not give up.

Related: OPS seeks to retain control of AIADMK bank accounts