In what has become a crucial event in ADMK amid the leadership crisis, a Chennai court has on Monday - April 11 poured a breather for ADMK's joint coordinator Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) by aligning in his battle of blocking expelled general secretary VK Sasikala to recoup her control in the party, that has been reeling with a major furore for several years.
The directive from the court has become a major fiasco for VK Sasikala in her campaign for a political comeback. The court's order was made for the petition moved by VK Sasikala in which she had contended that the ADMK general council held in 2017, which expelled her as general secretary, was invalid. It must be noted that Sasikala was removed from the post after Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam had merged their factions after a brief tussle.
Following the demise of Jayalalithaa, the baton of the rule was passed on to O Panneerselvam while VK Sasikala has become the General Secretary of the party. In a short time, she was sent to prison for four-year incarceration and later, Panneerselvam had revolted against the VK Sasikala-backed faction led by Edappadi Palaniswami. Panneerselvam had tussled with his colleagues and the party had faced a political divide. Palaniswami had then become the Chief Minister.
Months after the revolt, both the leaders had merged their factions and in September 2017, they had convened the party's general council during which they had repealed the post of General Secretary and expelled VK Sasikala from the post. As the ADMK had gone under the dual leadership, Panneerselvam had become ADMK's Chief Coordinator while Palaniswami took the post of Joint Coordinator. Under the new leadership, ADMK has made it clear that there is no place for VK Sasikala in the party.
However, VK Sasikala has approached a Chennai court and filed a petition seeking the directive that the decision of expelling her from the post of General Secretary must be declared void. While she walked out of the prison in February 2021, Sasikala believed that her battle at the court would arm the campaign to take over the party from the dual leadership. Later, fighting her petition, the ADMK leaders Palaniswami and Panneerselvam had moved a plea, requesting the court to dismiss the contention of the expelled general secretary.
The trial ran for several months and the court was preparing to deliver the verdict last week. However, as the justice was not present to the court, the judgment was deferred and it was finally declared on Monday - April 11. The additional district sessions court in Chennai has pronounced the judgment on Monday in which it has dismissed VK Sasikala's petition after observing the argument from the ADMK's counsel.
While the verdict had shocked VK Sasikala, it has rained a major relief to the ADMK leaders- particularly Edappadi Palaniswami, who is taking all possible means to block VK Sasikala's entry into the party. ADMK's Legal Wing Joint Secretary AM Babu Murugavel said that the court has dismissed Sasikala's plea following an interlocutory application from ADMK's Coordinator Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator Palaniswami.
ADMK's Spokesperson Kovai Sathyan said, "ADMK had petitioned to dismiss the claim of VK Sasikala as General Secretary, stating she has no locus standi. The honourable judge, acknowledging the petition filed by EPS and OPS, had dismissed Sasikala's plea and passed an order favouring EPS and OPS." On the other hand, following the dismissal of her petition, VK Sasikala said that she would be challenging the decision in Supreme Court.