All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday moved the Madras High Court challenging an order by its single bench that declared his elevation as the sole interim general secretary of the party as invalid, The Hindu reported.

Appearing before the second division bench of Justice M Duraiswamy and Sunder Mohan, Palaniswami’s counsel, Vijay Narayan, sought an urgent hearing on August 22.

On Wednesday, a single bench of Justice G Jayachandran ordered the AIADMK to maintain the status quo as it existed on June 23 – when Palaniswami was the joint coordinator and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Paneerselvam was the coordinator of the party.

Justice Jayachandran had also directed the AIADMK to hold a fresh meeting of the party’s general council. He passed the order on a plea filed by Panneerselvam challenging the July 11 general council meeting.

At the meeting, the AIADMK had expelled Panneerselvam as its primary member for “anti-party activities”. The members also abolished the party’s dual leadership model and appointed Palaniswami the “single supreme leader”.

The dual leadership model, which comprised positions of the coordinator and the joint coordinator was created during the general council meeting on September 12, 2017, after the party gave the honorary title of “eternal general secretary” to late former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Panneerselvam approached the Supreme Court against the development, which on July 29 directed the Madras High Court to decide on the matter within three weeks.

In his Thursday plea, Palaniswami contended before the Madras High Court that Justice Jayachandran completely ignored the fact that the posts of the coordinator and joint coordinator had lapsed. Thus, in no circumstances he can jointly act to convene an executive council or general council meeting as directed by the judge, he added.

“The learned single judge’s order is illegal, and unsustainable in the eye of law,” Palaniswami said in his plea. “The impugned order has been passed on assumptions and irrational reasoning which makes it completely unworkable and arbitrary.”

Paneerselvam offers to work together

Meanwhile, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Paneerselvam urged Palaniswami to run the party jointly, PTI reported.

“Let bygones be bygones...Would never say it affected us… [But] 1.5 crore party workers and the people who desire the good rule of MGR [MG Ramachandran] and Amma [J Jayalalithaa] want this movement to remain united,” Paneerselvam said.

Paneerselvam further said that it was due to the differences between the two leaders that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was able to emerge as the ruling party in the state, The Indian Express reported. “Considering the sacrifices made by our leaders and to again serve the people of this state [as a ruling party], we must work together,” he said.