The plea filed by former AIADMK Member of Parliament (MP) KC Palaniswamy has sought for a direction to the Election Commission to appoint an independent officer to conduct the inner party election to elect the general secretary as well as prohibit the self-appointed general secretary Sasikala and others who helped her in assuming office from taking decisions.
However, Justice M Sathyanarayanan, before whom the petition came up for hearing on Thursday, posted the same to February 10 for deciding its maintainability. The former MP has contended that AIADMK is governed by a set of amended rules and regulations from 2007 and based on that VK Sasikala’s election as general secretary of the party is in total violation of Rule 20 (ii) of the party by-laws.
He said the party structure starts from village panchayat party unit from the base level and it contemplates that primary members shall meet and elect its functionaries. The next tiers are town panchayat level, district level, city level and state level. Accordingly, rule 20(II) mandates that the general secretary shall be elected by the primary members of all party units of Tamil Nadu and members of the party in other states like Puducherry, AP, Telengana, Karnataka and Andaman Islands.
Thus it can be seen that all the primary members are entitled to participate in the election process of electing a general secretary of the party through democratic process. Transparency in the conduct of election for electing a general secretary is the heartbeat of a democratic process and it is not possible to foist someone as general secretary without there being an election process, Palaniswamy said. Noting that the decision taken by the party’s general council appointing Sasikala as interim general secretary on December 29, 2016 was totally contrary to the party bye-laws and all accepted canons of democracy, he said the general council was never authorised to take such a decision that has a far-reaching effect and which is likely to trample the democratic process and during such dealings leave a trail of telltale stories.
He also submitted that inner party democracy has been ignored by the powers at the helm of affairs in the party and that he had no choice other than approach the court as his representation to Election Commission, New Delhi, on January 20 is yet to evoke any response.