AIADMK merger likely this weekend, VK Sasikala may exit

11 August, 2017, 00:33 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami during a meeting with ministers and party's senior leaders at party's headquarters in Chennai

The EPS faction in the resolution stated that Dinakaran's recent appointments of party functionaries will not disclaim with AIADMK in any manner. Here, however, the BJP is expecting a fast marriage of the two factions of the ruling AIADMK which has seen a rift following the death of J Jayalalithaa, the supremo of the party and the state's then chief minister, in December a year ago.

There are speculations that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami's faction and former chief minister and rebel O Panneerselvam's faction are in talks for merger.

"During the RK Nagar byelection, the Election Commission recognised two factions of the AIADMK and ours was named as the AIADMK (Amma)". They are now headed to Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. The move in both camps is being perceived as coming one step closer to a merger of the two camps by easing out Sasikala and Dinakaran.

The AIADMK also said that Dinakaran was creating confusion by appointing several party office bearers.

Even if the merger happens, it will be marriage of convenience and the party does not have a strong leader following J Jayalalithaa's demise on December 5, 2016. But he was appointed as deputy general secretary.

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The presence of Dinakaran and Sasikala in key party positions remains the sticking point between the two factions, according to reports in the media. Recently, Dinakaran had rewarded 20 MLAs with party posts for supporting the government. For the first time, Panneerselvam indicated that the merger efforts could see the light of the day when he said any decision on unification would keep in mind the "aspirations and wishes of the cadre".

The meeting also invalidated the appointment of Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary - he was appointed by Sasikala before she went to jail in the wealth case in February.

He claimed that the chief minister's camp had wantonly misinterpreted party rules to say that his appointment was against the party law and also questioned their using the letterhead of undivided AIADMK which was barred by the EC.

In another demand, OPS camp has asked for a CBI probe into the death of Jayalalithaa. Another significant aspect of the resolution signed by 27 office bearers, including Palaniswami, is that it did not use the honorific of "Chinamma" to refer Sasikala, as was the practice in the past.

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