To cement his authority, EPS files nomination for AIADMK general secretary post, OPS moves court

Panneerselvam said it was earlier decided the late J Jayalalithaa will be the permanent general secretary of the party.

ByVinodh Arulappan

Published Mar 18, 2023 | 8:45 PMUpdatedMar 18, 2023 | 10:12 PM

To cement his authority, EPS files nomination for AIADMK general secretary post, OPS moves court

Edappadi K Palaniswami, or EPS, the interim general secretary of the AIADMK, filed his nomination for the post of the party’s general secretary on Saturday, 18 March.

Soon after EPS had filed his nomination, PH Manoj Pandian, an MLA from the O Paneerselvam, OPS, camp, approached the Madras High Court seeking a stay on the election.

Acting Chief Justice T Raja accepted the plea and assigned Justice K Kumaresh Babu for an urgent hearing of the case on Sunday, 19 March.

Palaniswami garlanded the statues of the party’s founder MG Ramachandran and late chief minister J Jayalalithaa at the party headquarters in Royapetta, before submitting his nomination papers to election officers Natham Vishwanathan and Pollachi R Jayaraman.

On Saturday, 38 nominations were filed. All the nominations were filed in the name of Palaniswami. The last day for filing nomination papers is Sunday.

Former Minister Sellur K Raju told South First that EPS would be sworn in as the party’s general secretary and they will face any legal battle.

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OPS fumes at ‘autocratic’ EPS

Meanwhile, minutes after EPS filed his nomination, Panneerselvam met the media in Chennai, stating that no other political leader is as autocratic as Palaniswamy.

Stating that the election process was not being conducted as per the party bylaws, Panneerselvam said that the post of general secretary was to be left vacant since it was earlier decided that Jayalalithaa will be the permanent general secretary.

“Now Palaniswami wants to become the general secretary. He has not even won a single election under his leadership. Even in the Erode by-election, the party lost by a big margin,” Panneerselvam contended.

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 conduct organisational polls and appoint party functionaries.

Further, membership forms have to be distributed to include new members and renew the membership of existing members, following which identity cards have to be issued, he said.

“The election to the top post will be held only after the completion of these processes. There is no due process and they want to hold the election for the general secretary post like a pickpocket going away (with one’s purse)…is this acceptable,” he asked.

Panneerselvam further stated that a large conference will be held in Tiruchirappalli early next month as part of the next course of action.