OPS Wants Sasikala, TTV to Join, EPS Says Some Want to Take Over ADMK: Tug of War Gets Murkier – News18

AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswamy on Thursday shot back at O Pannerselvam’s suggestion to ‘unify’ party and said he has decided to move the division bench challenging Madras HC’s verdict that termed July 11 General Council meet as invalid.

The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered status quo as of June 23 over the conduct of the AIADMK’s July 11 General Council meet, rendering the meet of the party’s top decision-making body, invalid.

Responding to the court verdict, Panneerselvam said he trusted dharma, the judiciary, party workers and the people, “who believe truth and dharma are by my side.”

He said that all of whom were working for the party since the times of founder M G Ramachandran, including Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran, must come together for the sake of the party.

Batting for cooperative leadership, Panneerselvam said that he and Edappadi K Palaniswamy (EPS) steered the party well after the demise of J Jayalalithaa. A unified AIADMK is the wish of all party cadres, he said.

Armed with a High Court order against his earlier ‘expulsion’ from the party, Panneerselvam played the unity card and flagged his desire to take into the party fold, all those who believed in its ideology and principles. This included the ones “who have been kept away” from the party, the leader said.

Jubilation was evident in the Panneerselvam camp on Wednesday as the Madras High Court ruled as invalid, the resolutions regarding his expulsion and his rival EPS’ elevation as the party chief, among others in the July 11 AIADMK general council, a move seen as a setback to EPS.

“It was a historic ruling. The order was a complete victory for the AIADMK,” he said. “This verdict proves justice, dharma, party workers, people and especially the Almighty will not accept usurping a political party by force, let alone someone’s house,” OPS said in a statement.

Those who show scant disregard for party laws formulated by its founder, the late chief minister MGR, will be defeated, he said, adding, henceforth the AIADMK, by virtue of its unity, will grow to be an iron fortress that cannot be breached. “I will now take along the 1.5 crore party workers who believe Amma (the late CM J Jayalalithaa) is the permanent general secretary,” he added.

Later, speaking to reporters, OPS dedicated the HC ruling to the “1.5 crore party workers.” Invoking MGR and Jayalalithaa, he said the AIADMK was a cadre-based movement and “splitting it or any authoritarianism concerning an individual or a family is not possible.”

“Like Anna (Dravidian stalwart C N Annadurai) said, those in the leadership should have the maturity to tolerate criticism. Whoever created insults, tolerate them and take them along is the facet of those in leadership,” Panneerselvam, who paid tributes at the memorial of Jayalalithaa here, said.

Henceforth “there is no us and them,” he said, in an apparent reference to the rival camp and stated that according to the court ruling, party functionaries will continue in the same posts they were in prior to June 23. Technically, that would make him the Coordinator and Palaniswami the joint coordinator.

“The responsibility given to me by workers is Coordinator. Like how MGR and Amma made AIADMK a strong unit, we will do the same…there is no them and us now. It is one movement now, a workers’ movement,” he said.

To a question, he said “all should unite…all those who have been kept away will be taken in…all those who are aligned with AIADMK ideology and policies will be taken…we will respect the court order.” Meanwhile, the Palaniswami camp insisted that it was not a setback for the former chief minister.

Senior leader and former minister K P Munusamy said the party high command will respond in detail after going through the order copy of today’s court ruling. The general councils held on June 23 and July 11 were done properly like the days of the late Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa, he said. All the general council members present in both meets “unanimously adopted the resolutions” at the respective sessions, he told reporters.

“No question arises,” was his response when asked if the order was a setback for Palaniswami. “If there are 2,600-odd GC members, 2,562 of them have accepted Palaniswami as the chief. The GC members are elected by the party’s grassroots level workers and functionaries and enjoy all powers. Such persons had unanimously accepted the (interim) general secretary,” Munusamy said.

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