NEW DELHI: The satisfaction V K Sasikala may have derived watching her nominee K Palanisamy get anointed as Chief Minister from the Bengaluru Central jail was clearly short-lived. For, before the ink could dry on her successful wresting of power from her current rival O Panneerselvan, fresh trouble came her way in the form of a notice from the Election Commission of India.
The OPS camp followers, led by Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan, had petitioned the Commission on Thursday, challenging the legality of Sasikala’s appointment as general secretary of AIADMK, citing the party constitution.
The notice sent to the jail address on Friday was the EC’s rather quick follow-up on the OPS camp’s petition. Express had reported on Thursday that the EC will be sending a notice to Sasikala seeking explanation about her appointment, as also of TTV Dinakaran.
If the clarification provided by her is found unsatisfactory by the EC, the AIADMK will have to hold fresh election. Or the party would have to get Sasikala’s election ratified by a larger forum in conformity with AIADMK constitution.
As the power struggle between the Sasikala and OPS camps intensified in the run-up to the trust vote in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Saturday, the EC notice provided yet another point of friction.
This quasi-legal challenge to her as interim general secretary apart, the internecine warfare reached absurd levels on Friday with Sasikala and Dinakaran being sacked from the party by the already-sacked AIADMK presidium chairman E Madhusudanan.
In all this tug-of-war, newly anointed CM Palanisamy has remained unscathed as of now. While OPS has been threatening to go to the people, constituency-wise, to raise his campaign pitch against his ouster, allegedly under duress, he has not been able to draw majority of his party MLAs.
That he has appealed to Governor C Vidyasagar Rao for a secret ballot during the floor test was, in a way, an admission that Palanisamy will not face any serious challenge if it’s an open voting.