In the midst of long-simmering tensions over the leadership tussle between the top two leaders Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) and O Panneerselvam (OPS) in ADMK, the Supreme Court has on Wednesday awarded a thumping win to EPS to go ahead with his plan of conducting the General Council meeting on July 11, in which he will be elevated as the party's General Secretary, which will give him an ultimate command in the party.
Currently, EPS and OPS have been serving as Coordinators and as EPS is moving close to the elevation, OPS is making moves to stop his rival from the political ascendant. ADMK, which is Tamil Nadu's premier opposition party, has been staging a legal drama as both the factions are locking horns over the leadership. The matter of conducting the General Council meeting was heard by the Supreme Court, which has now EPS to go as per his plan of conducting the key meeting.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court has stayed the Madras High Court's division bench order restraining the ADMK's General Council from passing any resolutions. The apex court bench comprised of Justices Dinesh Maheswari and Krishna Murari said that the ADMK General Council meeting that has been scheduled for July 11 can be conducted in accordance with the law. Importantly, through this verdict, the top court has lifted all the restrictions on the meeting through which EPS can now bring the resolution supporting his leadership over his rival OPS.
The court has also instructed EPS and OPS to fix their differences. The order was passed for a special leave petition moved by EPS against the June 23 order of the Madras High Court, which had imposed curbs on ADMK's General Council meeting from amending the party by-laws. The state court's order was a breather for OPS, who has now embraced a big setback from the apex court, which has favoured his rival.
The Supreme Court has further observed that the division bench has exceeded its jurisdiction by passing a verdict curbing the meeting from attempting any changes to the leadership crisis. Challenging the division bench's order at the Supreme Court, EPS has said that the Madras High Court's order restraining the General Council from passing any resolutions amounts to judicial interference with a political party's internal functioning.
Observing his plea, the Supreme Court has said that it cannot interfere with the inner functioning of a political party. As per the verdict, EPS and his faction have cleared a legal hurdle and they are preparing to host the General Council meeting, which is five days away now. With a majority of support, EPS is all set to organize the top meeting and table the resolution to become the party's new General Secretary, by ousting the commanding power of OPS in the party.