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General secretary post will be revived, says AIADMK amid EPS-OPS tussle

Party's General Council meeting will be held on July 11

Edappadi Palaniswami (right) and O. Panneerselvam  | PTI Edappadi Palaniswami (right) and O. Panneerselvam | PTI

The party's July 11 General Council meeting would revive the erstwhile top post of General Secretary and Edappadi K Palaniswami is set to be elected to the highest position, AIADMK leader Natham R Viswanathan said here on Sunday.

The post of General Secretary, which had full powers during the times of party founder M G Ramachandran and his successor late J Jayalalithaa, would be revived by way of passing a resolution in the General Council meeting, Viswanathan, also a former Minister, told reporters.

Viswanathan accused R Vaithilingam, follower of rival leader O Panneerselvam, of trying to spread 'wrong information' in respect to the GC meeting. Seeking to rebut Vaithilingam, Viswanathan said the GC meeting, that is scheduled for July 11, is legally valid and in accordance with laws and party bylaws.

Nobody could stop the meeting which is legally valid and all the resolutions that are scheduled to be adopted would come into force, Viswanathan, a Palaniswami loyalist said.

He reiterated his camp's stand that the posts of Coordinator (Panneerselvam) and Joint Coordinator (Palaniswami) ceased to exist and that the party favoured Palaniswami for the top position.

Viswanathan said '99 per cent' of the party functionaries and party cadres are behind Palaniswami and all of them want him to become the supreme leader - the General Secretary.

Earlier, he, alongwith several former Ministers, including Dindigul C Srinivasan, P Thangamani and S P Velumani, reviewed preparations to conduct the GC meet on the sprawling premises of a marriage hall on the outskirts of the city. Over 2,500 GC members, top party office-bearers are set to take part in the GC meeting.

In 2017, after the factions led by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami came together, the party declared that Jayalalithaa 'is the eternal general secretary.' The party came up with a new apex party structure of 'Coordinator' and 'Joint Coordinator' and Panneerselvam and Palaniswami were elected to the top two positions respectively.

In December 2021, the party had amended its rules to strengthen such a top party leadership structure.

The tweaking made it clear that election to the highest posts would be by way of a single vote and electors shall be the party's primary members. Palaniswami and Pannneerselvam were elected unopposed last year. 


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