Acting fast, the Election Commission today asked V K Sasikala to respond to a petition filed against her challenging her appointment as AIADMK interim general secretary by the O Panneerselvam camp. The EC made it clear that if she fails to answer, it will be "presumed" that she has no comments to offer and it will proceed in the matter accordingly. The Commission has send the notice to Sasikala currently "lodged in the Parappana Agarhara prison" in Bengaluru and has sought her response by February 28. The Commission issued the notice just a day after the Panneerselvam camp led by Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan submitted two petitions against Sasikala's elevation. While forwarding her copies of the petition, the Commission asked her to respond by February 28 "failing which it will be presumed that you have no comments to offer and the Commission will take appropriate action in the matter". The Panneerselvam faction of the AIADMK had yesterday moved the Commission challenging the election of Sasikala as general secretary of the party, saying she was elevated in violation of the norms. A 12-member delegation of the faction had met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and other top officials, and submitted a memorandum demanding that it decline approval to her elevation to the top party post. In its 42-page petition, the delegation claimed Sasikala's election was violative of the party constitution as she was chosen by the general council of the party and not the primary members. It said the general council was empowered to frame policies and programmes, and not elect someone as general secretary. The notice to Sasikala came a day before Sasikala loyalist E K Palaniswami will seek the vote of confidence in the state assembly.
REPLY TO PETITION AGAINST GEN SECY APPOINTMENT: EC TO SASIKALA