In a huge setback for sidelined AIADMK Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran, the Madras High Court has given the go ahead for the party General Council meeting convened by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami.
Dismissing AIADMK MLA and Dhinakaran loyalist Vetrivel’s petition, the High Court told him to approach the Election Commission. The judge pointed out that if Vetrivel didn’t wish to attend the meeting, it would be better for him to stay at home.
The HC also fined Vetrivel Rs 1 lakh for wasting the court’s time.
Vetrivel had approached the Madras High Court on Friday seeking a stay on the General Council meeting on September 12. The Dhinakaran faction argued that only General Secretary VK Sasikala had the powers to convene the meeting. In his petition, he called the meeting convened by CM EPS and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam as illegal and sought a stay on the General Council meeting.
Meanwhile, hours later Vetrivel challenged the single judge's order. He moved the Chief Justice Bench seeking a stay on the General Council meeting. The Madras HC Division Bench upheld the single judge's orders, and refused to stay the AIADMK general council meeting.
In a statement on September 1, TTV Dhinakaran had stated that there was no clarification on the agenda of the meeting and had asked party functionaries and MLAs not to attend the meeting.
While the agenda of the September 12 meeting is yet to be announced, there is speculation that the united AIADMK would move a resolution to dismiss Sasiskala from the post of General Secretary.
The Election Commission is yet to decide on petitions filed challenging Sasikala's appointment as interim General Secretary of the AIADMK. The petition was filed following former CM O Panneerselvam's rebellion against Sasikala in February.
The Madras High Court’s order comes even as Opposition parties led by the DMK have been demanding that Governor Vidyasagar Rao call for a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly and ask EPS to prove his majority in the House.
Nineteen MLAs had on August 22 filed individual petitions with the Governor expressing lack of confidence in Edappadi and seeking a floor test in the Assembly. However, last week AIADMK MLA from Cumbum ST Jakkaiyan, who had earlier pledged support to TTV, defected to the ruling camp.
Several of the MLAs pledging support to Dhinakaran are presently camped in Coorg in order to prevent horse trading.