Chennai: V.K. Sasikala's appointment as "interim" general secretary is "valid" and was made by the general council which has been empowered with such powers in the party constitution, the AIADMK told the Election Commission on Tuesday.
The party, in its 42-page response to a notice from the Election Commission on a petition filed by O. Panneerselvam camp against her election, has stoutly defend Ms Sasikala's appointment, saying the party functioning would have come to a standstill if the post of General Secretary was kept vacant after the death of J. Jayalalithaa.
"The reply from the AIADMK says no by-law of the party constitution has been violated since Ms Sasikala has been appointed as the interim General Secretary of the party since the crucial post cannot be left vacant after J Jayalalithaa's death," sources in the EC said.
The party has also defended the decision to appoint Ms Sasikala for the post, saying the general council is empowered to nominate someone for the post if there is vacancy till elections to the post are held, the sources said.
The reply signed by deputy general secretary T. T. V. Dinakaran said the functioning of the AIADMK would have come to a "standstill" if the appointment (of Ms Sasikala as general secretary) were not made.
The sources said the reply also says that those who later complained against Sasikala's elevation had initially signed the resolution in her support. The response came on a communication from the EC asking Ms Sasikala to respond to a petition filed by the rival O. Panneerselvam camp against her appointment as AIADMK interim general secretary.
The EC had, while issuing the notice, made it clear that if she failed to answer, it will be "presumed" that she has no comments to offer and proceed in the matter accordingly. The Commission had sent the notice to Sasikala, currently lodged in a Bengaluru prison, and sought her response.