AIADMK power struggle: EPS takes over as general secretary after Madras HC rejects OPS' plea

The court rejected pleas filed by deposed leader O Panneerselvam and his aides, paving the way for interim chief Edappadi K Palaniswami's elevation as AIADMK's general secretary.

Published: 28th March 2023 11:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th March 2023 04:06 PM   |  A+A-

Supporters of AIADMK interim General Secretary EPS celebrate at party headquarters after the court  announced the verdict in their favour, on Tuesday in Chennai. (Photo | P Jawahar)

Supporters of AIADMK interim General Secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami celebrate at party headquarters after the court announced the verdict in their favour, in Chennai. (Photo | P Jawahar)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday refused to grant a stay on the general secretary polls of AIADMK, clearing the decks for Edappadi K Palaniswami as the general secretary after late leader J Jayalalithaa.

Without wasting time after the Madras HC verdict, AIADMK election commissioners Natham R Viswanathan and Pollachi V Jayaraman announced the election of Palaniswami as the general secretary of the party. The party functionaries greeted him by presenting shawls and bouquets. 

Following the verdict, Palaniswami said he is thanking the party cadre wholeheartedly for electing him as the general secretary, which is the all-powerful post in the party held by party founder MG Ramachandran (MGR) and late party supremo J Jayalalithaa.

AIADMK is likely to inform the Election Commission of India about the party's internal election result.

Justice K Kumaresh Babu passed the orders on the batch of petitions filed by deposed leader O Panneerselvam and his supporters PH Manoj Pandian, R Vaithilingam and JCD Prabakar who sought a stay on the party polls.


"The interim applications (seeking stay) are rejected, " the judge said in the order. This is considered yet another fatal blow to OPS in his attempt to claw back into the party by getting some favourable orders from the court.

OPS, PH Manoj Pandian, R Vaithilingam, both MLAs and JCD Prabhakar, filed the suit challenging the resolutions of July 11, 2022, general council meeting, in which, amendments were made in the party bylaws and EPS was appointed as the interim general secretary.

They also questioned their removal from the party without following due procedures.

Even when the matter was sub judice, polls for the general secretary post had been announced on March 17. As per the poll schedule, nominations were filed on March 18 and 19. EPS alone filed the papers and several other party men filed papers on his behalf. It appeared he would be declared elected unanimously.

Challenging the conduct of the organisational polls, OPS and the three leaders moved interim applications before the court. Meanwhile, the EPS camp gave an undertaking that the results would not be declared until the final orders were passed.

All the petitions were heard together in special sittings on two holidays. The senior counsels, representing the OPS camp, vehemently challenged the legality of the amendments and blamed the flouting of the party rules in removing them from the party.  After the final arguments on March 22, the judge had reserved the orders.

India Matters


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