Members favour K Palaniswami as sole leader, Panneerselvam walks out

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The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Thursday rejected the 23 approved resolutions during its general council meeting in Chennai, The Quint reported.

Members of the party raised slogans demanding “single leadership” within the party under former Chief Minister K Palaniswami. He was also honoured with a decorated crown, a sword and sceptre by supporters amid chants, according to PTI.

His rival within the party, O Panneerselvam, walked out of the meeting. Bottles were also hurled at him, according to F10 News.

The AIADMK has been facing a tussle for power between Panneerselvam and former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. Currently, both of them are leaders of the party, occupying positions as coordinator and joint coordinator, respectively.

The two positions were created during the general council meeting on September 12, 2017, after the party gave the honorary title of ‘eternal general secretary’ to late former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, according to the Hindustan Times.

The faction led by Palaniswami, however, wants the party to get rid of the dual leadership. The idea was also proposed by Palaniswami’s supporters during the party district secretaries’ meeting last week, according to NDTV.

The idea is opposed by the Panneerselvam-led camp, which says it would amount to a betrayal of Jayalalithaa.

“The dual leadership is going on fine at this moment,” Panneerselvam had said on June 16, according to The Indian Express. “The general secretary’s post is reserved for Amma [Jayalalithaa], the general council itself had passed a resolution stating that no one should come for that position.”

On Thursday, senior AIADMK leader KP Munusamy said that the 23 resolutions, along with that of the single leadership, would be passed in the next meeting of the council, according to The Quint.

“These will be discussed and adopted only when the unitary leadership is discussed in the next meeting,” he said.

The party announced that the general council would again meet on July 11.

Case in Madras HC

The decision in Thursday’s meeting came after the Madras High Court, in a late-night ruling, said that no new resolution on change in the party’s top leadership can be taken during the party’s general council meeting on June 23, according to The New Indian Express.

A special division bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and Sundar Mohan ruled that while the meeting can take place as scheduled, only the 23 resolutions decided by the party can be discussed and adopted.

The direction came after the faction led by Panneerselvam had approached Chief Justice MN Bhandari and obtained his permission to prefer an appeal against an earlier order passed by Justice Krishnan Ramasamy in favour of Palaniswami.

On Wednesday, a single bench of Justice Ramaswamy had denied restraining the Palaniswami group from taking up any new resolution during the meeting.

In his order, Justice Ramasamy had observed that the court cannot interfere in the internal affairs of a political party or association, Live Law reported. “It was open for the association/party to pass resolutions and frame bye-laws,” the court had said.

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