CHENNAI: As expected, O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami were on Monday declared elected unopposed as coordinator and joint coordinator of the AIADMK respectively, a formalisation of their continued leadership of the party. Within an hour of assuming charge, the duo issued a joint statement announcing a State-wide agitation against the “lethargic attitude” of the DMK government on December 9.
This came even as two persons filed petitions in the Madras High Court and a City Civil Court in Chennai respectively, challenging the duo’s reelection. Both petitioners alleged irregularities in the conduct of the polls. While the HC agreed to hear the plea — in which the petitioner also said he was brutally manhandled when he went to obtain nomination papers — on Tuesday, the AIADMK’s counsels told the City Civil Court that the election process had already been formalised. It may be recalled that former MP KC Palanisamy’s plea challenging the polls in the HC, was last week adjourned to January 7.
Earlier, C Ponnaiyan, one of the AIADMK election commissioners, announced the poll results after the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended at 4 pm. “Since only one nomination has been received for the posts of coordinator and joint coordinator and the nomination is in proper form as per the party’s bylaws, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami are declared elected... unopposed.”
Though Ponnaiyan said many headquarters office-bearers, district secretaries, former ministers, and others filed nominations in support of Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, he did not share the number of such nominations received.Party functionaries and cadre celebrated the announcement by bursting crackers.
Later, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, accompanied by party leaders, visited the memorials of former chief ministers MG Ramachandran, the party’s founder, and J Jayalalithaa and paid homage.In their joint statement, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami said agitations will be staged at all district headquarters to condemn the DMK government’s “lethargic attitude” towards vital issues of the people and to demand financial assistance be distributed as part of the Pongal gift hamper.
The party’s other demands include a reduction in State taxes on fuel, assistance for rehabilitation of people affected by heavy rains and floods, sufficient compensation to farmers who lost standing crops in the floods, and incentives of `5,000 for sanitation workers. The AIADMK also condemned the rise in prices of essential commodities and reported decision to shut Amma Mini Clinics.