OPS rejects ‘hijack’ by EPS, to move ECI

On the other hand, the camp led by Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami was busy collecting the correspondence votes from general council members.
(L) Edappadi K Palaniswami; O Panneerselvam (R)
(L) Edappadi K Palaniswami; O Panneerselvam (R)File Photo

CHENNAI: Ousted AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam on Sunday said the presidium chairman of the party, Tamizhmahan Hussain, has brazenly violated the due process of the law in selecting the party candidate for the Erode East Assembly bypoll. Rejecting the correspondence from Hussain, he further announced that they would approach the Election Commission to present their case.

On the other hand, the camp led by Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami was busy collecting the correspondence votes from general council members.

“We have almost finished collecting the correspondence voting forms from 90 percent of the general council members, ”said an AIADMK functionary privy to the development. He said Hussain would take the morning flight to New Delhi to submit them before the ECI to get the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol for the February 27 bypoll. They also rubbished OPS camp claims over the process of selecting candidates.

“The candidate has been selected without following the due process of law in a biased manner. This shows it was a premeditated decision and one-sided. The members of the general council feel that the candidate has been selected unfairly,” said OPS in a four-page statement.

It was released after he held a meeting with his supporters Panruti S Ramachandran, R Vaithilingam, KP Krishnan and PH Manoj Pandian at his residence. OPS called Hussain a “puppet” who acted like an “agent” of EPS.

“We’ll not back an act executed against the law. We don’t want to be part of an unfair practice,” said Ramachandran.

90 pc of GC votes reach AIADMK HQ

Senior AIADMK leader Panruti S Ramachandran alleged that the entire process of electing KS Thennarasu as party candidate was in stark contrast to the Supreme Court’s direction.

There was no “no secrecy” in the voting process. It would be communicated to the Constitutional authority after consulting legal experts. He, however, maintained that they would continue to support the candidate fielded under the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol.

Sources in Edappadi K Palaniswami camp said they have summoned the members of the GC to one in each district and collected the correspondence votes from everyone.

“There are 2,602 GC members with us. It accounts for more than 95 per cent. We are coordinating with district secretaries and senior leaders to distribute and collect the hard copies of the correspondence votes. Nearly 90 per cent of votes have reached the office (HQ),” said a party functionary coordinating the process.

“OPS repeatedly says that he will not resort to any act, leading to temporary non-use (freeze) of the party symbol. But, his intention and every move are aimed at freezing the party symbol. It indicates that he has a personal interest,” said former minister and senior AIADMK leader S Semmalai, who is part of the EPS camp.

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