The affidavit filed by former AIADMK MP K C Palanisamy asking the Election Commission to fill the post of general secretary as per the party bylaws appears to have added more confusion to the ongoing power struggle.
KC Palanisamy was a key member of deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam’s camp and a cursory reading of his move to approach ECI might suggest that this was part of the OPS game plan to wrest control of the party.
This could be a consequence of chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami managing to retain much of the powers while relegating OPS to the No.2 position without much say in the party.
But AIADMK functionaries close to OPS say he was upset with KCP moving such an affidavit before ECI.
“The affidavit has been filed without the approval of OPS,” a senior AIADMK leader close to OPS told TOI.Stating that KCP was acting on his own, the leader said OPS would clear the air soon as this affidavit was sending a wrong signal to cadres that OPS was waging a cold war with EPS.
Sources close to KCP also hinted that OPS had no say behind the former MP approaching ECI. “KCP was the original petitioner before ECI challenging the elevation of V K Sasikala as inter im general secretary even before OPS rebelled. So he has moved this petition too in the same capacity ,” said a source privy to the development.
But the affidavit, filed on Friday last, barely 20 days after the general council of the unified AIADMK declared that late chief minister Jayalalithaa was the eternal general secretary of the party and that no one would be elevated to that post, by a key member of OPS’ team approaching ECI seeking to fill the post has raised several eye brows. Senior AIADMK leader C Ponnaiyan said that the party would never go back on the September 12 general council resolution to do away with elections for general secretary post.
“Jayalalithaa has been declared as the permanent general secratry . The functions of general secretary have now been entrusted by the general council to the coordinator and joint coodinrtor of steering committee,” he said.
“As per the bylaws of the party, KCP’s move is right.Party general secretary has to be elected by members.That provision cannot be amended by general council,” said political analyst M Kasinathan.
He said, however, that the possibilities of OPS giving his tacit approval to KCP cannot be ruled out. “For strategic reasons they may deny the involvement of OPS in moving the affidavit. But there are chances that it may have his approval,” Kasinathan said.