OPS vs EPS: The fight in AIADMK reached the Election Commission, banks

CHENNAI: The battle between ousted AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam and party’s interim chief Edappadi K Palaniswami is now with the Election Commission and banks, with both sides determined to establish their rights. While interim general secretary Palaniswami apprised the Election Commission of the General Council meeting to be held on July 11 and the changes, Panneerselvam wrote to the election panel that the proceedings and its decisions were null and void.

Palaniswami was promoted to the post of his current interim chief Panneerselvam and two of his supporters were expelled at the party’s highest decision-making body on Monday.

Panneerselvam has also written to the banks, besides urging the Tamil Nadu Assembly Secretariat not to accept or affect any changes in the existing composition of the AIADMK legislature party. Palaniswami is the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and Panneerselvam is the Deputy Leader.

Party sources said Panneerselvam has informed the banks that he is the “coordinator and treasurer” of the AIADMK and no transaction can be done without his permission. The party has various accounts including fixed deposits with at least 2 banks.

Palaniswami has written to the banks that party veteran and former minister Dindigul C Srinivasan is the new AIADMK treasurer. Srinivasan is also the party’s organizing secretary and Dindigul (West) district secretary.

Panneerselvam loyalist Vaithilingam told reporters: “The coordinator O Panneerselvam and joint coordinator K Palaniswami were elected by the members of the primary party through a vote as per the norms and cannot be revoked by the general council. Their term is 5. for the year. Not a single resolution has been passed. (July 11) is valid in the General Council.”

Vaithilingam said that Panneerselvam remained the party’s ‘coordinator’ and ‘treasurer’ and as per the Election Commission’s records this is the official position, he said a letter has been sent to the officials outlining this aspect. The authorities have been urged not to accept the submissions of the Palaniswami group.

Dismissing the claim of Palaniswami supporters that it was Panneerselvam loyalists who resorted to violence, Vaithilingam said that the EPS followers were ‘camping’ in the area for 5 days and the violence was only perpetrated by them. The Palaniswami camp insisted that they would face the legal issues.

VK Sasikala, a confidant of late AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, who is trying to control the party, said the current events in the party are a big joke.

He said that in the history of the party, its bye-laws have not been amended so many times, that too within a year. “Whatever they are doing will not be legally valid. I would like to tell you that there will be a good solution soon,” he told his supporters at an event in which the organization led by his brother V Divakaran was included in the team. There was a merger. By him. He said his only ambition was to “unite” everyone and lead the party to victory. Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam is a separate organization led by TTV Dinakaran, who is the nephew of Sasikala and Divarakan.

In December 2021, the AIADMK changed the bye-laws to strengthen the dual leadership structure, and on July 11, abolished it and appointed Palaniswami as the interim chief.

Political commentator M Bharat Kumar said the emerging scenario is on expected lines. “The matter is now with the Election Commission. As we have seen in the past, the authorities will look into the matter and may seek clarification from Palaniswami or Panneerselvam or both of them before arriving at any conclusion.” Moreover, now that the party headquarters in Chennai is sealed and in the wake of the police case against men from both sides for violence, verbal duels will be the order of the day for quite some time. He said that the matters of the concerned parties will also go to the court.