Chennai: In a major development, the General Council of AIADMK on Tuesday passed a unanimous resolution expelling VK Sasikala as the general secretary of Tamil Nadu's ruling party.
The two united factions of the ruling party also declared that their former chief late J Jayalalithaa will remain the "eternal general secretary" of the AIDMK.
During the meeting, the AIADMK General Council also adopted that those appointed by Jayalalithaa before her death will continue to hold their respective positions within the party, effectively removing VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran from all top posts.
''Temporary general secretary post stands forfeited. VK Sasikala has been expelled,'' RB Udaykumar, a minister in the Tamil Nadu government, said.
All those appointed by Amma (Jayalalithaa) as office bearers, will continue to hold their positions in the party, RB Udaykumar said as he read out the resolution adopted at the AIADMK General Council meeting here.
The decisions taken by TTV Dinakaran are not binding on the party, RB Udaykumar added.
During the meeting, it was also decided that the two factions will be formally united and all efforts to retrieve the official 'two leaves' party symbol will be taken.
The decisions of the AIADMK General Council meeting are subject to the approval of the Madras High Court, which has given a green signal to the meeting on Monday, dismissing a petition from Sasikala loyalists to put it on hold.
Meanwhile, eighteen lawmakers loyal to VK Sasikala skipped today's meeting.
Separately, while reacting to the developments, TTV Dinkaran said that ''most of the ministers are scared that they will lose elections and that's why they are accusing us of conniving with the DMK.''
You (EPS-OPS) claim that you have support of party workers, so if you have guts let us face fresh elections, TTV Dinkaran said on AIADMK meet.
Now, I will ensure that this government (Tamil Nadu) is thrown out of power, Dinkaran warned.
The ruling faction of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) had decided to hold the General Council meeting after sidelined deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran camp’s last-minute legal battles to stall the meeting failed.
The crucial meeting is being held under the chairmanship of presidium chairman E Madhusudhanan that aims at removing VK Sasikala from the general secretary’s post and setting up of a steering committee that will take care of party affairs until a new chief is chosen.
Sasikala was appointed to the post in December 2016, weeks after the demise of former chief minister and general secretary of AIADMK J Jayalalithaa.
A month after Sasikala took over the party and decided to become the chief minister, O. Panneerselvam rebelled and split away from the party. The pre-condition for the merger by the Panneerselvam’s camp has been Sasikala’s ouster.
On Monday, the Madras High Court dismissed a plea by MLA S Vetrivel seeking a directive to stop the meeting by the faction led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam.
The legislator then went for an appeal. But, late on Monday evening, a two-judge bench refused to stay the single-judge order. Following the legal battle, on Monday night, Sasikala’s nephew Dhinakaran threatened to topple the Palaniswami government.
After 19 MLAs withdrew support to Palaniswami, Dhinakaran met the Governor C Vidyasagar Rao last week and reiterated the demand for a floor test against Palaniswami.
The General Council of the AIADMK has a strength of 2,780 members. The General Council will be followed by an executive council meet.