After HQ meeting, team EPS calls OPS betrayer
Sources said the EPS camp is keen on removing OPS as deputy leader of the opposition too.
CHENNAI: The power struggle within the AIADMK continued on Monday, with the faction led by Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) describing O Panneerselvam (OPS) as a symbol of betrayal, and saying his continuance as treasurer would be decided during the July 11 General Council meeting.
Sources said the EPS camp is keen on removing OPS as deputy leader of the opposition too. Senior party functionaries KP Munusamy, Natham R Viswanathan, Dindigul Seenivasan, and RB Udhayakumar are among the frontrunners for the posts of treasurer and deputy leader of the opposition, the sources added.
A meeting convened by ‘headquarters secretary’ Palaniswami here on Monday reinforced that he enjoys the support of most office-bearers. Of the 74 headquarters office-bearers, 69 vouched for him.
For his part, Panneerselvam, who rushed to Chennai from Periyakulam and went into a huddle with his supporters, has filed a petition before the Election Commission highlighting the “flaws” of the June 23 general council meet and describing Monday’s meeting as illegal. Also, on his behalf, a caveat petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday, stating that if anyone files an appeal against the Madras High Court’s verdict on the general council meeting, OPS’ views too should be heard.
Meanwhile, asked whether OPS would continue as treasurer, former minister D Jayakumar told reporters after the meeting, “This will be answered during the July 11 General Council meeting.” Many decisions were taken during the 75-minute meeting on Monday, but would be revealed only on July 11, he added. Reportedly, the leaders also discussed appointing EPS as the party’s interim general secretary.
‘Meet held on request of office-bearers’
Ans wering a question about the removal of Panneerselvam’s name as a founder of AIADMK mouthpiece Namadhu Amma, Jayakumar said, “Annan OPS has been a symbol of betrayal for a long time. Betraying is part of his personality.
So, he can’t be part of Namadhu Amma newspaper. Former minister RB Udhayakumar has given a detailed account of OPS’ betrayals of the AIADMK.” Jayakumar said Monday’s meeting was chaired by party presidium chairman Thamizhmagan Hussain since the posts of coordinator, joint coordinator, and deputy coordinator have lapsed.
“The meeting was attended by 65 out of 74 AIADMK office-bearers. Former ministers Panruti S Ramachandran, Dindigul Sreenivasan, and M Buddhichandran, and Justin Selvaraj, president of the party’s minorities wing, intimated that they could not make it since they are unwell,” he added.
Questioned about OPS’ view that Monday’s meeting was against party bylaws and that decisions taken at the meeting would not be binding on party cadre, Jayakumar said, “Former law minister CVe Shanmugam had given a detailed clarification about all legal issues.
Bylaw 20(A)(7) clearly says headquarters office- bearers can lead the party in the absence of coordinator and joint coordinator.” Jayakumar added, “The meeting was convened by headquarters secretary Palaniswami based on requests from the headquarters office-bearers. If Panneerselvam does not know this basic law, then it’s like how a sleeping person can be woken up, but a person pretending to be asleep can’t”. In Puducherry, AIADMK cadre tore a poster of OPS at the party office in Uppalam.