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Edappadi K Palaniswami gets keys to AIADMK headquarters ten days after its sealing

Justice Sathish Kumar on Wednesday allowed the former Tamil Nadu chief minister's plea challenging the sealing of the office and directed the revenue divisional officer to hand over its keys to the latter.

AIADMK party head quarters seal being removed by officials of the Revenue Department, in Chennai, Thursday, July 21, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Ten days after it was sealed by revenue department officials in the wake of violence between supporters of former chief ministers Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam, the AIADMK headquarters at Royapettah in Chennai was reopened on Thursday amid heavy security.

Justice Sathish Kumar on Wednesday allowed Palansiwami’s plea challenging the sealing of the headquarters and directed the revenue divisional officer to hand over its keys to the latter. The judge also directed that police should provide security to the office and that no party cadres be allowed inside for a month to prevent any untoward incident.

In compliance with the court order, the office was opened by revenue officials in the presence of senior AIADMK leader and MP C Vee Shanmugam and office manager V Mahalingam, both of whom received the keys.

When Shanmugam and other office-bearers owing allegiance to Palaniswami entered the office in the presence of reporters, they found several rooms ransacked and many items missing.

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At a recently held general council meeting, Palaniswami was elected unanimously as the party’s interim general secretary, thereby dispensing with the dual leadership system that had existed for the past few years.

In a series of developments, the party expelled Panneerselvam from the party’s primary membership and appointed former minister Dindigul C Srinivasan as treasurer. Panneerselvam’s son O P Ravindranath Kumar and his other supporters were also removed from the party.

The tussle between the Palaniswami and Panneerselvam camps reached a new low on July 11, when the factions attacked each other leaving several bruised and some with even bleeding injuries. It was then the revenue officials sealed the office premises.

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Meanwhile, Palaniswami informed Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla that Ravindranath Kumar was no longer with the AIADMK and should not therefore be considered as one representing the party. “The former chief minister has sent the letter on Wednesday to inform [the speaker of] the developments in the AIADMK as he had done to inform the Tamil Nadu Assembly speaker recently,” the PTI news agency quoted a senior leader as saying.

First published on: 21-07-2022 at 20:26 IST
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