AIADMK merger likely this weekend, VK Sasikala may exit

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 10, 2017

The AIADMK has been in turmoil ever since the death of J Jayalalithaa - party matriarch in more ways than one - in December a year ago.

According to party sources, chief minister Palanisami and former chief minister O Panneerselvam, are travelling to Delhi in the evening, separately to participate in the swearing in ceremony of vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu, and are likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well.

The merger of the two warring factions looks like a possibility now after a deal that allows E Palaniswami to continue as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister with O Panneerselvam as his deputy is reported to have been reached. The authority of making appointments for the party was taken up by Dinakaran.

While leaving the post of Sasikala untouched, terming it as an interim arrangement, the resolution said the appointment of Dinakaran as deputy general secretary, who was expelled from the party once by Jayalalithaa, is not acceptable. Sources say the O Panneerselvam and Palaniswami factions of the party may merge soon.

According to a report by India Today, minister D Jayakumar said the merger may occur before August 15. The AIADMK (Amma) on Thursday came out formally against deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran.

"Since he failed to continue as primary member for five years, he can not hold any position in the party as per by-laws", the resolution said. Describing his recent appointments as not permissible as per rules of the party, a resolution adopted at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami stated that Mr Dhinakaran's decisions would not be binding on the party members.

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. With Dinakaran out of the way, the merger of the two camps led by Edappadi Palanisamy and Panneerselvam is expected to be smooth. As per the agreement, the post of the Chief Minister would be continued by Palaniswami and the ministers would continue in their posts. In June this year, Dinakaran got bail in a case in which he was charged of trying to bribe Election Commission officials for the ownership of the AIADMK's "two leaves" symbol in the RK Nagar bypoll. After Amma, the party had turned to her close aide VK Sasikala aka Sasikala Natarajan aka Chinnamma for leadership.

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