CHENNAI: The AIADMK ‘headquarters secretary’ Edappadi K Palaniswami has claimed before the Supreme Court that “he has emerged as the most popular leader of the AIADMK after overwhelming majority of the party has comprehended the confidence in his leadership while O Panneerselvam has lost the trust and confidence of the party members.”
EPS said this in a 378-page petition before the SC challenging the June 23 order of the Madras High Court, based on an appeal filed by OPS, which restrained the General Council (GC) of the AIADMK from passing any other resolution except the ones already approved.
Palaniswami contended that the HC bench had erroneously interfered with the internal democratic process of the AIADMK, and the GC, the supreme body of the AIADMK, was prevented from deciding on internal party affairs and sought an interim stay on the high court order.
He said Panneerselvam had crippled the functioning of the AIADMK by refusing to grant authorisation for the effective representation of the AIADMK before various forums where he has preferred suits. Also, he did not even authorise the candidature of partymen for the ongoing byelections to local bodies. The party has not fielded any official candidate in these elections, EPS said.
“It is well settled that matters pertaining to the internal affairs of a political party are not interfered with by the courts and the party is allowed to pass any resolution and frame a particular bylaw, rule or regulation for better administration. The matter of administration of a party flows from the wisdom of its members and the court cannot insist the members act in a particular manner,” Palaniswami contended.
“There is no provision in the bylaws of the AIADMK which necessitates the circulation of an agenda before the meeting and the impugned order of the (HC) bench directing the meeting to be confined to the agenda is totally untenable in law,” Palaniswami said. He said if the order of the bench is allowed to operate, Panneerselvam would never approve of any agenda that contradicts his interests.
He also pointed out that the AIADMK GC on September 12, 2017, adopted a resolution making Panneerselvam and Palaniswami the coordinator and joint coordinator. Notably, this resolution was not part of the agenda of the GC meeting. The members were only given mere notice of the meeting.
After the June 14 meeting of district secretaries, Panneerselvam was stunned by the fact that AIADMK members lost all confidence in him. Realising that he would be ousted from the post of coordinator, he sought a postponement of the June 23 GC meeting, EPS said.