CHENNAI: Even as her swearing-in is awaiting the nod from the governor, AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala today (Tuesday) faced trouble from within, after former Assembly Speaker PH Pandian, one of the founder members of the AIADMK, questioned the validity of her election as the party chief.
He was addressing a hurriedly-convened press conference on Tuesday, along with his son and former Rajya Sabha M, advocate Manoj Pandian.
Pandian, a lawyer and a loyalist of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, pointed out that when the bylaws were framed in 1972 in the presence of party founder MG Ramachandran, it was made clear that the general secretary should be elected directly by the grassroots members and not by the general council [Rule 20(2)]. The bylaws also made it unambiguous that this particular section should not be repealed at any time or even amended. Hence, Sasikala’s election by the general council consisting of around 2,500 members was not legal, said the party veteran.
“Sasikala’s election, which is already questioned before the Election Commission, is subject to scrutiny. Until the EC clears her appointment, all proceedings including her election as the temporary general secretary and as chief minister are illegal,” added Manoj Pandian.
Noting that she was elected under rule 19 (8) as general secretary, Manoj said this rule does not speak about the appointment of general secretary, more so about a temporary general secretary. “This rule says that the general council can frame the policies and programmes of the party, which is binding on the cadre. So until a new general secretary is elected by the members of the party, Sasikala has no powers to appoint or remove any office bearer.”
Rule 20 (5) provides that when the general secretary post become vacant, the office bearers appointed by the previous general secretary will continue to hold office. As such Sasikala has no authority to allot or authorise two leaves symbol to any person in the party, Manoj Pandian added.
The father- son duo also raised doubts about Jayalalithaa’s death, raising allegations against Sasikala for her sudden illness on September 22. This came a day after the team of doctors including Dr Richard Beale from UK who treated the late chief minister addressed the media to answer questions on her untimely death.