The Supreme Court has passed an interim order in the dispute between the Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) and O Panneerselvam (OPS) factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
The applicability of the order is limited to the selection of the candidate for the Erode East bypoll.
According to the order, a general council meeting is to be held to decide the party's candidate for the bypoll and during this meeting OPS and some other members of his faction who were expelled during the general council meeting of July 2022, will be allowed to participate.
The decision of the general council regarding the candidate would then have to be conveyed to the Election Commission of India (ECI) by the Presidium Chairman A Tamil Magan Hussain.
The bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy indicated that this was the best that the Court could have done at this time given the last date for nomination is 7 February. In January, it had reserved its final judgement in the case.
According to political commentators, the interim order is at best a moral victory for OPS and the nomination of KS Thennarasu, i.e., the candidate of the EPS faction, is a sure thing given the numbers are stacked in favour of EPS.
Earlier in the day, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Annamalai and the party's Tamil Nadu in-charge, CT Ravi, had met both OPS and EPS.
After the meeting, the BJP reiterated that it wants the AIADMK to put up a united and strong fight against EVKS Elangovan, who is the candidate of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) led alliance.
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