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TN: SC Verdict Clears Way for Palaniswami's Elevation as AIADMK Gen Secy

OPS will rise like ‘Pheonix’, will approach ‘people’s court’, say his supporters.
Image Courtesy: PTI

Image Courtesy: PTI

Chennai: K Palaniswami on Thursday cleared what seems to be the final legal hurdle towards his elevation to the powerful General Secretary post of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, winning another bout of fight with his now beleaugered rival O Panneerselvam after the Supreme Court greenflagged his continuation as the interim chief of the opposition party.

It is now a only matter of time before the 68 year-old leader is formally elected general secretary, a post last occupied by the late J Jayalalithaa and the formalities for this would be soon discussed and decided upon by the senior AIADMK functionaries.

Palaniswami said "dharma, justice and truth" have won following the SC ruling today.

On the other side, the apex court verdict cast a shadow on the political future of Panneerselvam, but his supporters are confident he will raise like a 'phoenix,' the mythical bird that rose from the ashes, although almost the entire AIADMK rank and file now seems to rally behind EPS, as Palaniswami is known.

The apex court ruling was a result of the 'divinity' of party stalwarts, the late Chief Ministers M G Ramachandran (MGR) and J Jayalalithaa, Palaniswami said at a mass wedding ceremony in Madurai.

 AIADMK's win in the legal battle was due to the 'blessings' and 'grace' of MGR and Jayalalithaa, even as he prayed to them for a favourable verdict while garlanding their statues at a shrine constructed by a senior party functionary in the temple town, Palaniswami said.

He described the SC verdict as "great" and "historic" and indicated that he or his party had nothing to do with Panneerselvam anymore.

 In a veiled attack at Panneerselvam, a grinning Palaniswami said "some Ettappars (a Tamil reference to betrayers) who worked as DMK's B-team and wanted to finish off the AIADMK have been unmasked today.

Many said AIADMK has no future (in the wake of the 2021 electoral defeat and in-party squabbles), and all that has ended with verdicts by the Supreme Court and the High Court," he said.

The top court earlier in the day upheld the order of the Madras High Court which allowed Palaniswami to continue as the interim general secretary of the AIADMK, founded by the late chief minister Ramachandran. It dismissed the petitions filed by Panneerselvam.

The judgement came on a batch of pleas concerning amendments made to the party bylaws during the July 11, 2022 general council meeting.

The AIADMK is no more "three or four," but was one united entity, Palaniswami said, even as he exuded confidence of the party winning the February 27 Erode East bypoll, the first such electoral excercise after the DMK came to power in 2021.

Targeting his party's archrival, the M K Stalin-led DMK, Palaniswami said "when MGR founded AIADMK, he said it is being done to destroy the evil force called DMK and he was steadfast in opposing it till his last breath.

Amma (Jayalalithaa) tolerated all the challenges and travails, walked the path of MGR and kept the evil force under control during her regime. She once said in the state Assembly that AIADMK will continue to live for 100 years after her. That has happened today," he added.

 AIADMK and the BJP are part of the NDA coalition.

As regards the other camp, Panneerselvam's house wore a deserted look, leaving the leader too dazed to publicly react to the court's ruling and contrastingly the AIADMK workers at party headquarters here and other parts in the State were on cloud nine celebrating the verdict.

A senior functionary who is a supporter of Panneerselvam says "a new political chapter begins for him. Panneerselvam will rise again and get back the position in the party, as party founder M G Ramachandran had proved his capabilities when he was expelled from the DMK."

 OPS would approach the people's court and win back political recognition, he added.

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