With DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan not very active due to old age, the party general council on Sunday vested party president M.K. Stalin with discretionary powers that would allow him to take any decision on issues related to administration. “Earlier, the president of the party would take decisions in consultation with the general secretary. Now, he has discretionary powers. For example, he can create a new district unit and appoint a member to the general council. But it should be ratified by the general council of the party subsequently,” a senior member of the party told The Hindu .
Amendments read out
The amendments in the party’s bylaws were read out in the general council by Rajya Sabha MP P. Wilson.
“The president should always have some powers. It is necessary to break deadlocks and avoid unworkable situations. It is like a writ of mandamus by a court,” said another party leader.
“Every unit in the party has powers and if those units fail to exercise their powers, the president can step in and take a decision. He can do it even in the case of decisions to be made by the party headquarters,” he also said.
He said the new arrangement had not “encroached upon” the powers of the general secretary since the president could always take a decision when the general secretary was not able to take it.
Significantly, against this development, Mr. Stalin while addressing the general council recalled his earlier utterances at party review meetings that he would become a “dictator” while dealing with issues were not empty threats. “They are not empty words. It was expressed for the development of the organisation and to uphold the principles of duty, dignity and discipline,” he said.
He urged functionaries to accept the critical feedback and change their behaviour. “If they (functionaries) don’t, I would like to warn them they would be made to change. Whether it is the office-bearers of the headquarters, district secretaries or others, they should not think that they cannot be controlled,” he said.
Another amendment brought in the bylaws was for change in the age limit for the members of the party’s youth wing. Earlier, anyone between the age of 16 and 30 years could become a member of youth wing. The new age limit is has been increased between 18 and 35 years.
“We have also amended the bylaw that has paved way for members of the transgender community to become members of the party. We are the first party to officially recognise the transgenders and give them equal status,” the leader claimed.
The party has centralised the membership campaign and anyone could become a member by applying online. The member would be eligible to vote in the organisational elections.
Yet another amendment approved by the general council is to elect a secretary to a union comprising 10 panchayats and a unit secretary for every panchayat. “The office-bearers will continue in their posts till the local body elections are over,” the resolution said.