The general council of the AIADMK Amma and AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi factions today revoked the appointment of V K Sasikala as interim general secretary and annulled all appointments and removals made by her deputy T T V Dinakaran.
The meeting, attended by 2,148 out of the 2,400 general council members, abolished the post of general secretary itself and vested in coordinator of the merged entity O Pannerselvam and joint coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami all powers in regard to enrolment and appointment of office-bearers.
By a resolution, it said office-bearers appointed by late Chief Minister and general secretary J Jayalalitha would remain and fresh appointments would be entrusted to the coordinators.
The meeting resolved to take all steps to regain the party’s Two Leaves” symbol frozen by the Election Commission following the split in the party after the passing of Chief Minister J Jayalalitha.
Holding that only Sasikala, who was appointed interim general secretary by the last general council on Dec 29 last year, was empowered to call another general council, rebel leader T T V Dinkanaran said “today’s was a meeting of “Palanisami and Co” and decisions taken by them would be subject to final approval by the division bench of the Madras High Court.
The court, while allowing the two factions to go ahead with the meeting, said in its interim directive late on Monday night that the council’s decisions would be subject to the final order it would pronounce on Oct 23.
The two-judge bench passed this order on a petition by Dinakaran supporter and legislator V Vettrivel, but said it would not take a final call as the dispute between the two groups was pending before the Election Commission.
In view of the position taken before the court, the two factions refrained using the name AIADMK, but instead termed it as a general council meeting convened by the AIADMK Amma and AIADMK Puratchi Thalai Amma.
By ousting Sasikala from the post of interim general secretary, the party said the appointment of Dinakaran as deputy general secretary by her had become automatically null void.
It also said all appointments and removals made by Dinarakan would be null void.
Sasikala was made interim general secretary until a full-time general secretary was elected by the general council. As calling election of the general secretary by primary members, running to over one crore was not practicable, the party decided to keep the post vacant and entrust the powers of the general secretary to two coordinators, O Pannerselvam and Palanisami.
In short, it was a move towards collective leadership, which was natural because neither of the two had the stature of party founder MGR or his mentor Jayalalitha who remained all-powerful because of popular support.
The party said the general secretary post would remain vacant because no one could take the place these two iconic leaders who headed both the party and the government.
Reacting to this, Dinakaran asked how Sasikala was elected interim general secretary after the passing away of Jayalalitha. If no one could take the place of Jayalalitha, how was Edappadi Palanisami occupying the Chief Minister’s chair, he asked.
By calling the general council, the official factions of the party have proven the party is with them as 2,148 out of 2,400 members turned up. It included the party’s Delhi representative Dalavai Sundaram who was till the other day a supporter of Dinakaran.
Taunting Edappadi K Palanisami, Dinakaran asked:”if the party is with you, prove your majority in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, or at least at the legislature party.”
Referring to the last legislature party meeting called by Edappadi and O Pannerselvam last month which saw a turnout of only 109 MLAs, Dinakaran said” 21 MLAs are with me and I shall pull down this government soon”.
He said 19 of his supporters had already given letters to the Governor withdrawing support to the Edappadi K Palanisami. If the Governor failed to direct the Chief Minister to prove his majority on the floor of the House, “I shall make the next move”.
He said “the continuance of usurpers and betrayers in power will erode popular support for the party and the sooner it goes the better”.