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HC Rejects Plea Against AIADMK Org. Polls Where OPS-EPS Duo Was Elected Unopposed

HC rejects plea against AIADMK org. polls where OPS-EPS duo was elected unopposed

Chennai, Dec 14 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed as not maintainable, a public interest litigation (PIL) petition challenging the organisational polls of the opposition AIADMK, where incumbents O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami were elected unopposed as Coordinator and Joint Coordinator, respectively, of the party.

The petitioner prayed for a court direction to the Election Commission of India not to affix its seal of approval for the election of Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, both former Chief Ministers of the state, to the said posts in the polls supposed to be held at the party headquarters at Royapettah here on December 7. They were declared elected unopposed on December 6.

Panneeselvam and Palaniswami are known in the political circles as OPS and EPS.

On Tuesday, the first bench of Acting Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice P D Audikesavalu rejected the plea from J Jayachandran of Arsanapatti in Hosur in the state and said the court cannot direct the EC to interfere into the organisational elections of a political party.

In his petition, Jayachandran, who was allegedly manhandled when he went to the party headquarters at Royapettah here to obtain nomination papers to contest in the elections on December 4, cited the EC as the first respondent.

He contended the mandatory notice of a clear 21 days from the date of announcement of election and the date of polling, was not issued.

The election officers--C Ponnaiyan and Pollachi V Jayaraman-- nominated by the party high command, were acting whimsically. The voters list, consisting of nearly 1.50 crore cadres, was not made public. The entire proceedings were conducted in such a way to ensure that only the two top leaders filed their nominations for the respective posts , he alleged.

The bench dismissed the petition on limine after holding it was not maintainable.

Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, leaders of the main opposition in Tamil Nadu, were on December 6 declared elected unopposed to the top two posts that together constitute AIADMK's apex leadership.

The two leaders were elected unanimously for the first time in organisational election, while they were appointed to the same positions in the AIADMK general council meet held here in 2017.

Their election last week came in the wake of amendments made to party bylaws earlier this month at its executive committee meet here with a view to retain and strengthen the present leadership structure of the positions held by them.

According to the changes, the coordinator and joint coordinator would be elected by the party's primary members. While the posts are two, there cannot be separate votes, as the twin positions together constitute the party top leadership, effectively a single entity. PTI CORR SA SA

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