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Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam, who today met the officials of the Election Commission to stake claim for the AIADMK's two leaves symbol, argued that V K Sasikala’s appointment as the party general secretary was null and void. “According to our party’s bylaw, she (Sasikala) does not have the power to appoint and expel members of the party.
She was expelled from the party for five years. How could she be elected as the general secretary? Our constitution dictates that under unforeseen circumstances if a general secretary post lies vacant, the second senior most person is elected for the post,” he said.This came at a time when the rival faction of the AIADMK party fielded Sasikala’s nephew T T V Dhinakaran from R K Nagar constituency for Tamil Nadu assembly by-polls, which fell vacant after the death of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa. Dhinakaran was appointed as the deputy general secretary of the AIADMK after Sasikala was convicted in the disproportionate case. Panneerselvam insisted that there was no such post within the party, as per the party’s constitution, adding the same has been raised with the poll panel. When asked if they would join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Panneerselvam said, “Our party leadership will decide that and soon good news will be announced.” The by-polls will be held on April 12 and the results would be declared on April 15.