The AIADMK on Tuesday defended the decision to appoint V K Sasikala as its interim general secretary, saying the general council of the party has the authority to make such an appointment.
In its response to the February 17 notice by the Election Commission, the AIADMK also said those who later complained against Sasikala’s elevation had initially signed the resolution in her support.
The party told the Commission that the functioning of the party would have come to a standstill had a new general secretary not been appointed after the demise of J Jayalalithaa.
The reply was signed by T T V Dinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew, who was hurriedly reinducted into the party and nominated AIADMK deputy general secretary just before she left for a Karnataka prison to serve her remaining term in a disproportionate assets case.
The poll panel had asked 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 by Tuesday.
The Panneerselvam faction of the AIADMK had moved the Commission challenging Sasikala’s election, claiming it was done in violation of the norms.
In its 42-page petition, the delegation had claimed Sasikala’s election was violative of the party constitution as she was chosen by the general council of the party and not the primary members.
It said the general council was empowered to frame policies and programmes but it cannot elect someone as general secretary.