Days after Jayalalithaa’s death, expelled AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP Sasikala Pushpa on Friday sought an interim injunction from the Madras high court to restrain the ruling party from appointing the former chief minister’s aide Sasikala as party general secretary.
Against the background of a chorus by partymen in support of Sasikala, called “Chinnamma” by her partymen, the plea against her election to the top party post was vehemently opposed by senior counsel B Kumar representing the ruling party when the matter came up before Justice K Kalyanasundaram.
AIADMK called Sasikala Pushpa’s plea “vindictive,” stating that she did not challenge her expulsion from AIADMK. Ruling party advocate said she had “no locus standi” to plead in an internal party matter.
Pushpa’s lawyer and senior counsel KM Vijayan argued that AIADMK’s order expelling his client was not served on her till date. He affirmed that she had “locus standi” in the matter, she continued to represent AIADMK and notice may have been sent (only) to the Secretary, Rajya Sabha.
Referring to reports in the media that “few party members” wanted Sasikala to assume the post of AIADMK General Secretary, the petition against Chinnamma’s elevation said she was given party’s primary membership in March 2012.
While Sasikala has completed only four and a half years as a primary member, the AIADMK bye-laws had an eligibility norm stipulating a primary membership for five continuous years to become General Secretary, it was submitted.
The petitioner sought an interim injunction restraining the AIADMK from appointing Sasikala to the top post “unlawfully and arbitrarily.”
Vijayan also contended that AIADMK bye-law of Section 20 (2) says that the General Secretary should be selected by all the primary members of all party units. He further submitted that AIADMK proposed to amend the party bye-laws to facilitate appointment of Sasikala as General Secretary.
Assuming that the rule of “continuous five year membership” was amended, still the “basic structure” for selection of General Secretary by all primary members of all party units cannot be amended.
Also, as per the Societies Registration Act, a minimum of 21 days notice has to be served on the members for attending the General Council whereas in this case no notice was served.