Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday met Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi and staked claim to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party symbol. His move comes weeks before a by-poll in RK Nagar, the constituency held by J Jayalalithaa until she died.
The ousted AIADMK leader, who has rebelled against party General Secretary VK Sasikala, said that his faction had met Zaidi and said that the party had violated several by-laws under Sasikala. They will file a formal petition with the EC on Friday.
He also asked for fresh elections for an AIADMK general secretary, saying Sasikala got the post by breaking several rules. Sasikala had joined the party in December 2016 and was elevated in January this year. Panneerselvam said that since she had not been in the party for five years, her elevation had broken party by-laws, and thus, all her appointments and decisions had violated them too.
Panneerselvam added that Jayalalithaa had always been “against family rule”. Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dinakaran is now deputy general secretary of the party, and intends to be the AIADMK candidate in Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar seat.
Besides Dinakaran, Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar is also standing from RK Nagar. The by-poll will be held on April 15, and the results will be out on April 17.