Setback for OPS in home turf, HC sets aside brother’s appointment as milk coperative chief
The division bench comprising justice T Ravindran and justice M Duraiswamy said the election was held in violation of rules and established procedures as it set aside the appointment of Raja as well as 17 board members.Updated: Jan 24, 2020 07:35 IST
The Madurai bench of Madras High Court on Thursday set aside the appointment of Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam’s (OPS) brother and Theni district strongman, OP Raja, as the interim chairperson of the state-run Theni district milk cooperative.
The division bench comprising justice T Ravindran and justice M Duraiswamy said the election was held in violation of rules and established procedures as it set aside the appointment of Raja as well as 17 board members.
“Invoking a wrong section in the Tamil Nadu Cooperatives Act, the interim chairman and board had been constituted, which makes it null and void,” the bench said in its order.
Theni is the native district of OPS and his son, OP Ravindranath Kumar, is the local MP while Raja keeps the region as the family fiefdom. This is being seen as a setback for OPS, who also the coordinator of the ruling AIADMK.
Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has already emerged as the face of the AIADMK, overshadowing OPS. OPS’ attempts to get his son into the Union cabinet was also said to be scuttled in intra-party machinations.
And, now his brother has been stripped of the post of Aavin’s chief which he assumed after its bifurcation from Madurai Aavin. Before this, he was the chairperson of the Madurai Aavin, which he had won against the official AIADMK nominee.
The bench passed the order on a writ petition by Ammavasi, the president of the Milk Cooperative Union of Palanichettipatti in Theni district, who sought to set aside their appointment saying it was carried out in secrecy without any public notification.
According to the petitioner, the Theni Aavin was bifurcated from Madurai district Aavin. Raja, who was chairperson of Madurai Aavin, was announced as having been appointed the interim chairperson of the Theni Aavin along with a board of 17 members in August last year. Most of the 17 board members are AIADMK functionaries, he submitted.
The petitioner prayed for setting aside their appointment and to order a fresh election.
The bench directed the deputy registrar of Aavin to hold fresh elections either for an interim or a regular board and the chairperson as per law and disposed of the matter.