Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], August 18 (ANI): A day after Madras High Court annulled his expulsion from the general council meeting of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Paneerselvam (OPS) on Thursday extended an olive branch to Edappadi Palaniswami seeking to put an end to the differences between the factions of the party.
"Party should unite to make sure we rule again," he said addressing a press conference in Chennai in which he referred to Palaniswami, or EPS, as his dear brother and stating that "AIADMK's 15 million cadres desire unity."
"I call on all AIADMK functionaries including Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran to work together again. We should all forget the bitter past and move ahead in the interest of the party," OPS said.
The Madras High Court on August 17 ordered status quo ante as on June 23 with respect to the AIADMK leadership. During a general council meeting this July, the party had abolished the posts of coordinator and joint coordinator created after late former chief minister Jayalalithaa's death in December 2016.
EPS, meanwhile rejected the attempts of a rapprochement by OPS. "How can we hold talks with a person [OPS] whose supporters attacked the AIADMK headquarters. He had not attended the AIADMK's general council meeting and instead moved the court to stop it?" EPS asked.
"OPS needs power and designation in the party. So he invites me to unite AIADMK," EPS said.
"In the last election everyone accepted me as AIADMK chief ministerial candidate but OPS didn't accept that. Because of this we lost 3 per cent of votes," the former Tamil Nadu chief minister said.
On July 11, ahead of the general council meeting, supporters of AIADMK's rival factions clashed and threw stones at each other. Supporters of OPS tried to break open a locked door to enter the headquarters prompting officials to seal it.
OPS in his plea had questioned the legality of convening the AIADMK General Council meet and questioned the legality and violation of bylaws in convening the AIADMK General Council meeting.
Meanwhile, the EPS faction has appealed against the High Court order passed in favour of OPS, and has asked for an urgent hearing.
Justice G Jayachandran of Madras High Court ordered in the favour of O. Panneerselvam, which meant that the election of Edappadi K Palaniswami as an interim general secretary during the July 11 general council meeting will not be valid. The court also ordered the conduct of a fresh general council meeting of the AIADMK.
In its General Council meeting held on July 11, the dual-leadership model in the AIADMK was ended and OPS was expelled from the party for "anti-party" activities during the party meeting. EPS was also elevated as the interim general secretary of the party.
O Panneerselvam and General Council (GC) member P Vairamuthu on August 4 requested the Madras High Court to change Justice Krishnan Ramasamy from hearing the case they have filed against the July 11 General Council meeting stating that the judge has made personal comments about OPS.
The single judge strongly condemned Panneerselvam's side for filing a complaint with the Chief Justice to change the judge, and said "The act of bringing the judiciary into disrepute is an act of contempt and displeasure." To this, OPS explained that they requested to be transferred to another judge because he had made personal comments about him.
OPS had requested to Chief Justice that he need a different judge to take care of the case, so Judge Krishnan Ramaswamy mentioned OPS's side that he could have appealed to himself if there was an amendment.
Since the passing away of former Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa, the party has been having a dual leadership with Panneerselvam and Palaniswami leading it as coordinator and joint coordinator respectively.
In the Supreme Court, Palaniswami contended that the High Court division bench had erroneously interfered with the internal democratic process of the AIADMK, and the General Council, the supreme body of the AIADMK, was prevented from deciding on internal party affairs. (ANI)