Erode East bypoll: EPS moves SC for AIADMK interim gen secy post

Will consider passing orders before February 7, if delayed, will give interim relief, CJI tells Palaniswami’s counsel

Published: 28th January 2023 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2023 06:00 AM   |  A+A-

Edappadi K Palaniswami with party functionaries in Erode on Thursday

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: As filing of nominations for the Erode East Assembly by-election is set to start in next four days, Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to recognise his appointment as AIADMK’s interim general secretary and acknowledge the lapse of post of coordinator as per the decisions taken at the party general council meeting held on July 11, 2022.

Senior counsel for Palnaiswami, C Aryama Sundaram made a mention to this effect before Chief Justice DY Chandrachud.  He said the ECI was not allowing Palaniswami to sign the forms required for the by-election including authorisation of candidates. 

Palaniswami has sought the direction as an interim relief since the SC has reserved orders on the case challenging the Madras HC verdict that upheld the election of EPS as interim general secretary of the AIADMK.  (If Palaniswami’s appointment as interim general secretary is recognised by the ECI, then his faction would get the ‘two leaves’ symbol.)

Considering his submissions, the CJI said, “Let’s see whether we can give orders on the AIADMK general council case before the last day for filing nominations (February 7).” “If the order is delayed, then will decide on providing interim relief,” Chief Justice Chandrachud said while asking the senior counsel to come back on Monday with a proper mentioning memo.

In his application, EPS said the fact that a majority of the office-bearers supported the resolution to elect him as the interim general secretary is indisputable.  Palaniswami also said he has been discharging his duties as the party leader and interim general secretary. He also argued that he is authorised to sign Forms A and B to allocate the ‘two-leaves’ symbol to the candidate contesting on behalf of the AIADMK. The application also said irreparable injury and hardship would be caused to the AIADMK and its members if the application was not allowed since the party cannot contest in the upcoming by-elections owing to the hyper-technical objections of the ‘unauthorized persons’.

“It is clear that O Paneerselvam has a vested interest in ensuring that the image, interest, and welfare of the AIADMK are harmed and injured in every possible manner. The directions now sought are for the AIADMK’s interest alone and not for the private interest of any person. Hence it is just and fair that the present application is allowed in the interest of democracy as it would allow the largest opposition party in the state to contest the bye-election,” the application said.

Commenting on the fresh plea made by Edappadi K Palaniswami before the SC, political analyst Tharasu Shyam said “When the court has reserved its orders on a particular case, no further application with a fresh prayer can be moved. Even if the SC considers this a special case, the ECI has to act in accordance with the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, giving opportunities for both factions to present their cases. It is a time-consuming process. So, when a dispute is raised, there is zero chance for either of the factions to get the symbol.”

Meanwhile, asked about the EPS faction’s move, TTV Dhinakaran said, “Since both OPS and EPS are seeking the ‘two-leaves’ symbol, the situation will lead to the freezing of the symbol.” 

(With inputs from T Muruganandham @ Chennai)


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