Chennai: Enthused by their success in marshalling the Executive Committee on Wednesday to bring about the changes to the AIADMK Constitution that would help them ward off threats to their own positions, Coordinator O Panneerselvam and Co-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami took the next step, rather quickly, and called for elections to the twin top posts on Tuesday, December 7.
While the schedule for elections to choose the Coordinator and Co-coordinator through a single ballot, announced by the party headquarters on Thursday, will see the completion of the poll process in five days, election of office-bearers at various levels from the branch units at the villages to the Corporations would be held in two phases between December 13 to 23.
Senior party leaders C Ponnaiyan and Pollachi V Jayaraman would be the commissioners for the election to the top posts, in which all primary members are mandated to vote. However, the party that claims to have a membership of 1.5 cadre has given just two days for filing of nominations (Friday and Saturday, December 13 and 14) and is conducting the polls on Tuesday, the day after withdrawal of nominations on Monday.
The whole schedule seems to have been drawn up with a perception that there would be no contest for the top posts, to which there will be a single combined nomination, and hence the contestants would be declared winners unanimously. For, it would not be possible to organize polling for 1.5 crore people to cast their votes in one day.
So if Panneerselvam and Palaniswami manage to pull it off once again and get themselves declared elected as per wish, they would be safely on the party saddle for another five years since, as the announcement said, the general elections to the party organisations had to be held once in five years according to Rule 30, section two of the AIADMK Constitution.
Also the present Coordinator and Co-coordinator have signed the announcement for elections to the plethora of party office-bearers at all levels, listing out the fee to be paid, suggesting that they would continue in the posts even after the election to their positions is held.
In elections to the lower level office-bearers, the first phase on December 13 and 14, will see 35 party districts going to polls and the second phase on December 22 and 23, will see the other 40 party districts voting for the candidates.
So, the entire range of committees in the party at all levels would be in place with the conclusion of the elections, after which Palaniswami and Pannerselvam are likely to call for the mandatory General Council.
Since the newly elected committees at all levels would be in place by then, it would be easy for them to ratify all the changes that they had brought in the rule book and also conduct the election for the party presidium chairman.
Though Tamil Magan Hussain was nominated as presidium chairman at the Executive Committee to fill in the vacancy caused by the passing away of E Madhusudhanan, it needs to be validated by the General Council.
But first, the duo wants to formally get themselves elected to the top twin positions, which would enable them to reaffirm their claim that the late J Jayalalithaa would continue to be the party’s permanent general secretary and the affairs of the party would be run by the Coordinator and Co-coordinator.
Through such a claim, the AIADMK leaders hope to keep ousted general secretary V K Sasikala out of the reckoning as they have also removed her from the primary membership of the party. But Sasikala seemingly has other plans.
In a statement on Thursday, Sasikala told AIADMK cadre not to worry about the developments at the Executive Committee and said that the situation would change soon. She said that she would not give up the fight and strive continuously to make the party a cadre-based party.
As of now, the AIADMK was being run by a few leaders to their whims and fancies and that would not continue for long, she said, adding that the sweat and sacrifices of the leaders who built the party in the past should not go to waste....