HC gives nod to hold AIADMK general secretary election with conditions

Hearing dissident leader O Pannerselvam’s plea against holding the election to AIADMK general secretary post, which his bete noire Edappadi K Palaniswami is set to win, the Madras High Court allowed the polling to proceed as scheduled but directed that the result should not be announced till March 22.

The court also directed city civil court that is seized with the petition against the July 11 general council resolutions to hear the case on March 22 and pronounce the verdict on March 24.

The outcome of the Sunday showdown was understandably celebrated as victories by both EPS and OPS factions.

Senior counsel CS Vaidyanathan appeared for Edappadi K Palaniswami and Vijay Narayan appeared for AIADMK while PH Manoj Pandian, R Vaithilingam, JCD Prabhakar were represented by senior counsels PS Raman, Sriram, C Manishankar.

Former CM and ousted AIADMK leader Panneerselvam moved the High Court on Saturday after Edappadi K Palaniswami filed nomination for the party’s General Secretary election. Citing pendency of July 11 GC resolutions case in a city civil court and the nomination time ending at 3 pm on Sunday, Panneerselvam sought immediate hearing against the General Secretary election for Sunday morning.

His counsel submitted before Justice K Kumaresh Babu that the July 11 GC resolutions were sub judice. In the petition, OPS supporters reportedly argued that the general secretary post permanently belongs to the former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Countering this, Palaniswami’s lawyer said he has won legal battles regarding the same on several occasions but Panneerselvam “has not come to grips with reality”. The election for the General Secretary post was announced only after securing a favourable verdict from the Suprrme. They submitted that AIADMK cadre want a unitary leadership but OPS was standing against it. “The party bylaws can be changed by the general council anytime. The plaintiffs didn’t point out why the general secretary post cannot be modified. As the parliamentary elections is nearing, the party has to run for it. The political party cannot wait for the cases,” they argued.