The Madras High Court on Monday approved the key general council meeting to decide the party’s future leadership structure, striking a blow to AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam, or OPS. The meeting was called by the faction led by Edappady K. Palaniswami, or EPS. However, OPS sought a stay at the meeting but the court rejected its plea.
The meeting, which was scheduled to take place at 9:15 am, was called to order at 9 am. The court said the meeting could be conducted in accordance with the law.
The meeting’s General Council, which has over 2,500 members and is predominately pro-EPS, supported a motion to end the current dual leadership structure and reinstate the top party position of general secretary. The meeting may ultimately result in the removal of O. Panneerselvam from his post as treasurer.
The OPS camp had earlier argued that only the Coordinator and the Joint Coordinator could call the meeting in accordance with the law. And this meeting, called by the newly constructed Praesidium Chairman, is technically illegal and hence unsustainable.
A resolution was approved by the general council to end the AIADMK’s dual leadership and establish the position of deputy general secretary. Resolutions were also passed by the AIADMK General Council to reinstate the position of general secretary and to guarantee that the party’s core members elect the candidate for the position. The election will be held 4 months from now.
Last Monday, the Supreme Court gave team EPS permission to have the meeting in compliance with the law. While OPS preferred the current dual leadership paradigm, EPS preferred one leadership.
There were no posters for OPS at the Vangaram meeting location; instead, cutouts of MGR, EPS, and Jayalalithaa were displayed. Prior to the high court decision, supporters of both groups were caught on tape throwing stones at one another outside the party headquarters in Chennai.