In a setback for All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) joint coordinator O Panneerselvam, the Madras high court on Wednesday issued a late night verdict refusing to restrain the party from amending its by-laws during the general council meeting to be held on Thursday — a move likely to pave the way for former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to become the only leader of the party.
Presently, Palaniswami and Panneerselvam — popularly called EPS and OPS — are joint leaders of the party, occupying positions as coordinator and joint coordinator, respectively.
Issuing the verdict, justice Krishnan Ramasamy of Madras HC said the court cannot interfere in a political party’s internal matters. The AIADMK’s general council — it’s highest decision-making body — consists of 2,500 members.
During the hearing, senior counsel P H Aravind Pandiyan, appearing for Panneerselvam, said Palaniswami had received the agenda for the meeting containing 23 subjects on Wednesday which he had immediately approved. The agenda does not mention amending any bylaws, the counsel stated and added that they were opposing the general council meeting from passing any resolution to make changes to the party’s rules.
Senior counsel Vijay Narayan, appearing for Palaniswami, submitted that during the general council meeting held on September 12, 2017, the posts of coordinator and joint coordinator were created for the duo by making late former chief minister J Jayalalithaa the ‘eternal general secretary’. Vijayan said this was done by making necessary amendments to rule 19, 20 and 20-A of the party’s bylaws. Rule 20-A specifically provides the duties and obligations of the coordinator and joint coordinator.
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