Moments after the Madras High Court dismissed the interim applications filed by former AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam and a few of his colleagues against the resolutions of the July 11, 2022 general council meeting and the consequent general secretary election, Leader of Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami was declared elected as the party’s general secretary.
At the AIADMK headquarters, party election commissioners Pollachi V. Jayaraman and Natham R. Viswanathan handed over the letter of appointment to him. Until now, Mr. Palaniswami functioned as the interim general secretary.
In a brief chat with journalists, he thanked party members for having elected him to the post. After taking charge as the general secretary, he visited the memorials of party founder M.G. Ramachandran and former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, on the Marina Beach in Chennai, along with many of his colleagues.
Mr. Palaniswami announced that the membership enrolment drive would be launched on April 5.
Following the cases before the High Court, the result of the election was not announced. On March 17, the party released an election schedule; the next day, Mr. Palaniswami submitted his nomination at the party headquarters. No other candidate filed nominations.
D. Jayakumar, organisation secretary and former Fisheries Minister, said that while his party remained a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (at the national level), the BJP was a part of the AIADMK-led alliance in the State. This was despite “skirmishes” between members of the two parties at the lower level, especially the IT wing. There was “no question” of taking the rebel leaders back into the AIADMK, he added.
The July 11, 2022 meet of the AIADMK general council, the party's highest decision-making body, had expelled Mr. Panneerselvam and his aides for alleged anti-party activities in the wake of the leadership battle involving the two leaders.
The Salem strongman's supporters had backed him for the 'single leader' post, even as the party was previously led by Mr. Pannnerselvam and Mr. Palaniswami as the coordinator and joint coordinator, respectively, then.