The Madras High Court today ruling that appointment of EPS as the party’s general secretary is not valid has come a huge setback for him. The ruling comes as a shot in the arm for O Panneerselvam, who is caught in a bitter power tussle with EPS. On the issue of party leadership, the court has ordered a status quo as before June 23 — this means that the party will be under joint leadership, with Panneerselvam as coordinator and Palaniswami as his deputy. Late Chief Minister and AIADMK Chief Jayalalithaa had chosen OPS for the top post twice when she had to step down following court convictions. He was made the Chief Minister for a third time before Jayalalithaa’s death.