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EPS named AIADMK general secy after HC rejects pleas by rivals

Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) was elevated as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary on Tuesday after a single bench of Madras high court rejected a batch of pleas filed by his rival, O Panneerselvam, and three others against the resolutions of the July 11, 2022 party general council and the conduct of the general secretary election.

Edappadi K Palaniswami was elevated as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary on Tuesday . (Agencies)

Following the court’s order, the OPS camp immediately moved a larger bench against the single bench’s verdict. The division bench is scheduled to hear the petition on Wednesday.

After signing the certificate of his election as AIADMK general secretary at the party headquarters in Chennai, EPS thanked party cadres. “After several difficulties, fulfiling the leader’s dreams, I’ve won as general secretary by cadres. I thank all cadres. I’ve been announced as general secretary. The election officer has announced the result. I’ve been elected unanimously as general secretary by cadres,” he said.

In the court, justice Kumaresh Babu dismissed all four petitions, filed by OPS and his supporters P H Manoj Pandian, R Vaithilingam and JCD Prabhakar, challenging the resolutions passed in the general council on July 11 last year. The resolutions had expelled OPS and his supporters, including Pandian and Vaithilingam.

“It has been brought to the notice of this court that the General Council consist of 2,665 members; 2,190 members have made a requisition to convene the General Council, 2,460 members have attended the meeting of the General Council on July 11, 2022 and they voted in favour of the resolutions,” the judge said.

“When that be so, primacy should be given to the decision taken in the General Council. I have already found that there is no dispute as regards to the power of the General Council to amend the Rules and the fact that an overwhelming majority of the General Council had unanimously passed the resolution … to amend the bye-laws of the first respondent, I am of the view that prima facie, the resolutions passed in the General Council will have to be valid,” he added.

The judge continued: “As I am prima facie satisfied that Resolution No.3 is valid, the resolution No.4, 5 & 6 to create the post of Interim General Secretary, to appoint Edappadi K.Palaniswami as Interim General Secretary and to conduct election for the post of General Secretary, in my view is also prima facie valid.”

“This is not the final result,” Vaithilingam said. “We have appealed against the verdict. Let’s talk after that. We will prove that we are the real AIADMK.”

Following the court’s order, celebrations broke out at the party headquarters after the court verdict. Party cadres gave EPS a rousing welcome as the latter happily waved at them. The former chief minister swung into action immediately and announced a new membership drive.

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