February 19, 2018

AIADMK factions seen near merger as star icons attend DMK event

12 August 2017, 12:07 | Rufus Hill

TN CM Edappadi Palanisamy sacks TTV Dinakaran from AIADMK

Panneerselvam Janata Dal, Abu Dujana Special afternoon bulletin

Chennai: The ruling faction of AIADMK with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswamy on Thursday chose in effect to defy party deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran. But it said the appointment of Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary, who was expelled from the party once by Jayalalithaa, is not acceptable.

Meanwhile, the faction headed by former Chief Minister Panneerselvam moved the Election Commission seeking a declaration that Sasikala's appointment as General Secretary and her subsequent appointment of Dinakaran as Deputy General Secretary was "null and void". 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.

A resolution adopted at a meeting of the chief minister's faction said the appointment of Dhinakaran was against the party rules and that its cadres have been asked to ignore his directives. The resolution aimed at ousting the Sasikala clan from the party, would satisfy one of the key pre-conditions of the OPS group for a merger. Referring indirectly to her jail term, it said Sasikala could not function as general secretary due to "unfortunate" reasons. There were reports that the two would meet PM Modi before they seal the merger.

TN CM Edappadi Palanisamy sacks TTV Dinakaran from AIADMK
Amit Shah is desperate to unite the warring AIADMK factions

"I expect to see it soon", he told reporters.

A Senior leader from the O Panneerselvam-led faction said that Sasikala's removal and setting up of a judicial enquiry into AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa's death are "our fundamental demands for unification". 'Workers confused'The source said the pressure was working on both the EPS and OPS factions.

The day Jayalalithaa died (December 5, 2016), as many as five cabinet meetings were held secretly inside the hospital and in four of those it was decided that EPS would be named the next CM, until BJP veteran Venkaiah Naidu, the then urban affairs minister, arrived at the spot. To protect itself, the EPS fraction publicly distanced itself from Sasikala and Dinakaran, and some prominent leaders even said that both had nothing to do with the party. This led to two factions in the AIADMK as many Sasikala loyalists also turned rebel and joined OPS.

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