CHENNAI: The general council meeting of Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK today removed V K Sasikala from the party’s general secretary post and said the late leader of the party J Jayalalithaa would be the party’s “permanent general secretary.” The set of resolutions passed has given the almost all key powers to the Chief Minister ‘Edappadi’ K Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam.
In what could be a shot in the arm for the ruling faction of the party, at least 95 percent of the members of the 2,300-odd members of the council turned up for the meeting in which these decisions were taken. The Madras High Court on Monday had observed that all the decisions taken in the meeting are subject to the final verdict in the case filed by the rebel faction led by TTV Dhinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew whom she appointed as deputy general secretary before her imprisonment in the disproportionate assets case in which she is a co-convict.
The meeting made many changes to the bylaws of the party, and Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar read out the resolutions and changes in bylaws for nearly an hour.
Most important of them were the creation of new posts – convenor and joint convenor to coordinate party affairs. With Panneerselvam as convenor and the Palaniswami as joint convenor, they will share among them almost all the powers that the general secretary of the party has been enjoying till now.
Speaking at the meeting, Chief Minister Palaniswami said 2,130 members of the general council, which is 98 per cent of the total strength, turned up for the meeting and unanimously approved all the resolutions. “Dhinakaran has no locus standi to criticise us,” he said, stating that he had been kept away from the party affairs for 10 years by the party’s deceased supremo Jayalalithaa.
Palaniswami asserted that none could destabilise the state government. “Only a few political parties have the privilege of coming together after facing a split,” he said. He said one of the main objectives for the party would be to regain the “two leaves” symbol, which resonates with the masses.
“As convenor and joint convenor, Palaniswami and I will discharge duties without any selfish motive.... Our late leaders (MGR and Jayalalithaa) had ensured AIADMK rule in Tamil Nadu for 27 years,” said Panneerselvam in his speech.
The party’s presidium chairman E Madhusudanan presided over the meeting. The meeting ended at around 1 pm.