The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday took on record the amendments made to the AIADMK rule book, thus putting an end to the leadership tussle in the grand old Dravidian party.
In a communication to EPS, the ECI said that it is taking into record the amended rules and regulations of the party, and change in office-bearer. Based on the several letters sent by EPS and his supporters, the ECI said “the amended rules and regulations of the party and change in office-bearer vide your letters under reference have been taken on record subject to any further court order/direction.”
The letter apparently means that the ECI has approved the election of EPS as the general secretary of the party. The AIADMK on July 11, 2022, had convened the general council of the party to elect EPS, unanimously, as the general secretary of the party. And now the proceedings of this general council meeting has been taken on record by the ECI.
With the Election Commission taking into record the amendments made in the party’s rule book and also the changes in the office-bearers, Palaniswami has emerged as the sole leader of the AIADMK, a party that ruled the state for over 30 years. Palaniswami’s rise to the top position was slow and steady over the past six years, pushing aside the erstwhile power centres in the party. He sidelined, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, V.K. Sasikala and more recently his betenoire and arch-rival O. Panneerselvam.
Palaniswami emerged as the face of the AIADMK after the uncertainty that rose in the party following the death of Jayalalithaa in 2016. He was chosen as the chief minister by AIADMK’s ousted leader Sasikala, just a day before she was headed to Bengaluru prison. Since then, he had slowly tightened his grip over the party only to rise to the position of the party’s general secretary--the post that was once held by MGR and Jayalalithaa. He is the third general secretary of the five-decade-old Dravidian party, founded by MGR and helmed by Jayalalithaa.
However, Palaniswami’s fight to strengthen his leadership position is far from over. Sources in the OPS camp say that the fight is still not over legally. The ECI too in its statement released on Thursday said that it had taken into the record all the amendments made, but “subject to any court order or direction.”