Sasikala Removed From AIADMK Post, Jayalalithaa to Be General Secretary Forever

At the AIADMK general council meeting, a resolution was passed saying that office bearers appointed by J. Jayalalithaa before her death will continue in office.

New Delhi: At the AIADMK general council meeting held in Chennai today, the party, under E. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam, decided to nullify the appointment of V.K. Sasikala, currently in jail, as the party’s interim general secretary. The general council also passed a resolution saying that office bearers appointed by J. Jayalalithaa before her death will continue in their positions.

Since both Sasikala and her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran were appointed after Jayalalithaa’s death, their appointments were struck down, News18 reported. All appointments made by Dhinakaran would also not be binding on the party, the resolution said. The general secretary post, the part resolution added, “will always stay with Jayalalithaa”.

The meeting was attended by around 2,000 (or 95% of) members of the party, who ratified the appointment of deputy chief minister Panneerselvam as the chief of the 11-member steering committee of the party. This, the resolution says, gives Panneerselvam the powers of the general secretary. It also formalised the merger between the factions led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, NDTV reported. The expulsion of Sasikala was one of the key condition of the Panneerselvam camp for the merger.

The party also decided to hold on to the two-leaf symbol, which is currently being contested in the Election Commission.

On Monday morning, a plea in the Madras high court by MLA S. Vetrivel from the Dhinakaran camp seeking a directive that stopped Tuesday’s meeting was dismissed. The legislator appealed, but a two-judge bench refused to stay the single judge order. The court also fined the MLA Rs 1 lakh for wasting the court’s time, saying, “If you don’t wish to attend the meeting, better stay at home.” The decisions taken at the meeting, are subject to approval from the high court, Livemint reported.

AIADMK spokesperson C.R. Saraswathy also questioned the validity of the resolution passed, News18 reported.

After the resolution was announced, Dhinakaran held a press conference where he insisted that Palaniswami call for a floor test in the assembly – a call that the opposition has made as well. “They (party leadertship) have betrayed the AIADMK cadre and people of Tamil Nadu,” News18 quoted Dhinakaran as saying from Madurai. “I will send this government packing…  Nobody voted for Edappadi Palaniswami. Once again we will bring Amma’s rule in Tamil Nadu. The fight will be between us and the DMK. I can’t see Edapaddi Palaniswami sitting on CM’s chair.”