AIADMK factions seen near merger as star icons attend DMK event

Aaron Brown
August 12, 2017

The meeting also said though Sasikala was made general secretary fol- lowing the death of party supremo Jayalalithaa in December a year ago, she could not function in the post in "view of extraordinary circumstances".

The announcement, made at a meeting chaired by Palanisamy, paved the way for the split of the AIADMK (Amma) faction, in part cleared the way for a merger of the Palaniswamy-led faction joining hands with erstwhile chief minister O Panneerselvam. "It is clear by implication that the affidavits (in support of Sasikala and Dhinakaran) filed by them ( EPS camp) were false and in any case can not be considered by the commission", it said.

The move is being seen as a signal to the rebel group led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, which had specified Dinakaran's ouster as one of its main conditions for a merger.

Insiders within the state BJP unit claim that he has given an ultimatum to EPS and OPS factions to announce the merger within August 15, and hold a grand rally when Shah will visit the state in the end of the month. Panneerselvam, the then CM had pointed at Sasikala alleging her role in Jayalalithaa's death.

"If we had not taken this step Dhinakaran would have continued to undermine the authority of the chief minister and caused greater confusion in the party", said a senior minister. "Therefore, Dinakaran's announcements also invalid".

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He also said the description of "420" (the IPC section referring to cheating) would fit T.T.V. Dinakaran - who was on Thursday sacked as the Deputy General Secretary - more.

The moment Sasikala took control of the party, it's popularity nosedived and never ever recovered.

If Dinakaran were to mobilise support - 37 MLAs were said to be backing him - it would endanger the Palaniswami government. Sasikala was not just an aide to Jaya, but the mover and shaker within the party and the government.

The BJP will be keenly watching.

Amid growing expectations of the merger ofthe two warring AIADMK factions, the Tamil Nadu political focus has shifted to New Delhi as leaders of both the camps headed to the National capital to attend the swearing in ceremony of VicePresident M Venkaiah Naidu. Probably, the BJP wouldn't mind the government falling and going to fresh elections although the risks are very high because the present government is highly unpopular.

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