Is pressure from BJP pushing AIADMK factions to merge?

11 August, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • AIADMK merger likely this weekend, VK Sasikala may exit

Chennai: The AIADMK faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Thursday declared as null and void the appointment as party Deputy General Secretary of T.T.V. Dinakaran, nephew of the now jailed General Secretary V.K. Sasikala.

While this is a significant step in healing the rift with the breakaway faction led by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS), senior leaders in the breakaway faction described the resolution as a half measure.

Sources in the Panneerselvam camp, however, say Palaniswami continuing as CM and Panneerselvam becoming the party general secretary is not a solution.

Dismissing the meet chaired by Palaniswami as caused by fear and selfish motives, he said the AIADMK was in the control of the party chief and himself. This is because he had been expelled from the party in 2011 by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, and had thus not been a member of the party for five consecutive years, as mandated.

On August 7, Palanisamy said he expects the much-anticipated-but-delayed merger of the two factions of the AIADMK.

Adopting a confrontationist stand, a combativeAIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary (DGS) TTV Dinakaran today asserted that nobody could prevent him from discharging his duties and warned of action against the EPS camp for anti-party activities.

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The reasoning behind the notion that Dinakaran would return to the party after a merger was that the moment Panneerselvam and Palaniswamy come together, the dispute before the Election Commission on who should get the AIADMK's "Two leaves" symbol will conclude.

The group said that consequently, Dinakaran had no power to appoint any office-bearer. The merger will also add two of Panneerselvam's followers into the council of ministers of Tamil Nadu.

Sasikala Natarajan is the long term political aide of Jayalalithaa and member of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

Under such circumstances, the party was being run by top functionaries appointed by Amma (a reference to the camp led by Palaniswami), it said.

The factions have been facing pressure to merge from the ruling BJP in New Delhi. But she landed in the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, in connection with the Disproportionate Assets case initiated by BJP's Subrahmanyan Swamy. "They will definitely pay for this kind of back stabbing", Dinakaran told reporters. This is meant to make a meeting between Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswamy and O Panneerselvam possible.

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