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General council ousts Sasikala as AIADMK chief

CHENNAI

The ruling All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (AIADMK) general council on Tuesday annulled the appointment of VK Sasikala as the party’s general secretary and also struck down the appointments made by her before going to jail, including making her nephew TTV Dinakaran the party deputy general secretary.

In other major decisions, the general council altered the party’s organisational structure to a collective leadership structure. It amended the party rules whereby none will be elected or nominated to the post of general secretary – a position held by party chief and late chief minister J Jayalalithaa till her death.

The council also decided that party coordinator (now held by Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam) and joint coordinator (held by Chief Minister K Palaniswami) will oversee the party affairs.

The council also introduced a rule whereby the party’s coordinator and joint coordinator would be elected by the council, and they would hold the post for five years.

With the annulment of the appointment of Dinakaran as deputy general secretary, the appointments made by him are also struck down. Sasikala was appointed interim general secretary last December following the death of Jayalalithaa. The council also ratified the recent merger of the two factions led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam.

One of the basic demands of Panneerselvam camp for the merger with Palaniswami was the dismissal of Sasikala and her family members from the party.

The council also resolved to restore all those who were party office bearers appointed by Jayalalithaa. They will continue to hold office now, it said.

Loyalists of Dinakaran, including law makers and members of council, boycotted the meeting.

Reacting to the council resolutions Dinakaran said the Madras High Court on Monday has said the decisions of the meeting are subject to its final judgement in a case filed against the holding of the meeting.

Dinakaran, who is leading 21 party legislators, said he would work towards bringing down the Palaniswami government.

“You (Palaniswami) and others have no moral right to sit in positions of power that was once wielded by Jayalalithaa. We will send this government home,” Dinakaran said at a press conference.

Citing the resolution that states that the party members cannot visualise anybody else as general secretary other than Jayalalithaa, he wondered whether the same logic would also apply to the chief minister’s post?

“As per the party rules, the general secretary will be elected by the primary members of the party if there is an election. The amendment by the ruling faction has effectively taken away the only right of the 10.50 million members,” CR Saraswathi, spokesperson of Dinakaran faction, said.

As per AIADMK constitution, the general secretary is elected directly by the primary members.

Meanwhile, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has filed a case in the Madras High Court seeking immediate direction to governor to convene the assembly and ask the chief minister to prove his majority, party leader MK Stalin said.

Indo-Asian News Service