CHENNAI: Political future of deposed AIADMK coordinator and three-time interim chief minister O Panneerselvam has turned bleak following the Supreme Court's Thursday verdict. It gives the much-needed morale boost to Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to further his cause and consolidate his position as the next general secretary of the party.
Though supporters of OPS said it was neither a setback for their leader nor an advantage for their rival EPS, political observers opined that the Apex Court's verdict, upholding the September 2 verdict of the Madras High Court, validating the AIADMK's general council meeting on July 11 last year as a shot in the arm for team EPS.
It was a double whammy for OPS as the GC passed a resolution to appoint EPS as interim general secretary as well as expelling OPS and his supporters from the primary membership of the party. They were among the 23 resolutions passed on the high-octane event over the intra-party dispute to end the dual leadership.
Former MLA and legal wing secretary of OPS camp A Subburathinam said the SC verdict is neither a setback for them nor an advantage for their opposition camp-led by EPS.
"In fact, the verdict has guaranteed our legal rights to defend our stand in an appropriate forum. The verdict is a replica of the MHC's division bench order. It did not go into the resolutions passed in the GC on July 11. So, we will file a civil suit to contest against the resolutions, " he said and citing the verdict in which, the SC judges said, "...we have chosen not to deal with any of those contentions (resolutions) " and the objections and rebuttals of the contesting parties are also kept open.
R Vaithilingam also echoed the same and said they would approach the civil court to uphold their rights.
EPS supporter and former minister D Jayakumar ridiculed OPS by stating that he was a "zero" in the political landscape of the state. He also extended an indirect invitation to ditch OPS and join the party under the leadership of EPS, who would carry forward the legacy of the 'Two-Leaves' symbol.
Political critics echoed that Thursday's verdict is death knell to OPS, who declared Dharmayudham 2.0 to free the party from the "dictatorship" of EPS team a couple of days ago, and it was the end of the road for OPS in the AIADMK party.
"The SC verdict validated the GC, which means, OPS has no role in the AIADMK henceforth," said political critic and senior journalist Tharasu Shyam.
"OPS’ second innings has come to an end. He can knock the doors of the judiciary and Election Commission of India to show his existence, but for the party he was the past," said another political observer Raghavendra Aara.
He continued that the party symbol is supreme than anyone in the party. So, the supporters in OPS would thin down in the days to come and he find himself alone. "OPS has to blame himself for his present situation,” he further said.
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