Tamil Nadu

Edappadi Palaniswami rebuts Panneerselvam’s claim on election to AIADMK coordinator post

AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami speaks at an event in Vellore on August 9, 2022.

AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami speaks at an event in Vellore on August 9, 2022. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday contested the claim of expelled leader O. Panneerselvam that he was elected as the party coordinator by 1.5 crore primary members in December 2017 and therefore a general council comprising just 2,665 members could not oust him from the party by a resolution passed on July 11.

Appearing before Justice G. Jayachandran, who was seized of a civil suit filed by Mr. Panneerselvam against the general council meeting, senior counsel Vijay Narayan said that not even a single member of the party had cast a vote in favour of the plaintiff in December 2021 since he as well as Mr. Palaniswami were elected unopposed as the coordinator and the joint coordinator respectively owing to the absence of rival nominations.

“My learned friend says that he was elected by 1.5 crore party members but it must be pointed out that not a single vote was cast during the December 2021 election,” Mr. Narayan, representing Mr. Palaniswami, said after senior counsel Guru Krishnakumar and P.H. Arvindh Pandian argued the suit on behalf of Mr. Panneerselvam and advocate A.K. Srirram appeared for the other plaintiff ‘Amman’ Vairamuthu alias P. Vairamuthu.

Right before the arguments commenced, the judge made it clear that he would decide the suit on the basis of two basic questions — whether the July 11 general council meeting was validly convened in accordance with the party’s bylaws and whether the presidium chairman was authorised to convene such a meeting. He requested counsel to make their submissions in the light of those two issues.

Opening the arguments, Mr. Krishnakumar contended that the basic structure of the party’s constitution itself was altered by the general council, on July 11, which elected Mr. Palaniswami as the interim general secretary, though through the bylaws of the AIADMK, its founder M.G. Ramachandran had made it clear that the general secretary should always be elected only by the primary members and not by the general council.

However, Mr. Narayan replied that it took 40 long years for the Supreme Court itself to come up with the basic structure doctrine with respect to the Constitution of India. Therefore, it would be too much to stretch this doctrine even to registered societies, trusts and companies and much less to a political party which is not governed either under the Societies Registration Act, the Companies Act or the Indian Trusts Act.

He asserted that the July 11 general council meeting was conducted perfectly in accordance with the bylaws. However, since he could not complete his arguments and also because advocate S.R. Rajagopal and Narmadha Sampath too had to argue on behalf of Mr. Palaniswami, the judge adjourned the case to Thursday for continuation of arguments.


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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 1:28:36 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/eps-rebuts-claim-of-ops-that-he-was-elected-as-aiadmk-coordinator-by-15-crore-party-workers/article65755100.ece