AIADMK merger would be realty very soon

Emmett Rice
August 22, 2017

Panneerselvam said that the decision on expulsion of VK Sasikala will be decided after party's general body meeting. In a dramatic incident, Sasikala has been announced accused in the disproportionate assets case and she has been jailed. Quite coincidentally, Dinakaran camp woke up to reports of VKS' footage released by former DIG of Prisons D Roopa, raising suspicion that Sasikala and her kin Ilavarasi had gone out of the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru allegedly in connivance with prison officials. The EPS camp had already delegitimised deputy general secretary and Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran, also a precondition for the merger by the rival faction. Hopefully, wiser counsel will prevail and ensure Panneerselvam gets off his high horse and make him see reason by accepting that EPS had way more support within AIADMK legislators than he himself did.

Matters moved quickly after Sunday evening, with acting Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao being requested to be in Chennai on Monday for the expansion of the Cabinet to include Panneerselvam as the deputy chief minister.

Both the leaders of the AIADMK faction announced the merger of the party from the party office.

"He also announced that a 11-member Steering Committee to guide the party, would be formed and asserted that they would retrieve the "Two Leaves" symbol (frozen by the EC following the split) and win over our opponents".

Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam reached AIADMK headquarters in Chennai today, shook hands marking the merger of both camps. Dinakaran was suspended by Jayalalithaa in 2011. It is also expected to go ahead with the merger pact with the O Panneerselvam (OPS) faction. "Wait for our leader Dinakaran to announce who will be the next chief minister".

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Born on July 14, 1951, Panneerselvam was a close aide of Jayalalithaa and is one of the founding members of the AIADMK.

Palaniswami and Panneerselvam later paid tributes at the memorial of Dravidian veteran and former Chief Minister, the late CN Annadurai, after whom the AIADMK (All India Anna Drvida Munnetra Kazhagam) is named.

It has been speculated that the merger has been brokered by the BJP, with both EPS and OPS meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He was interim chief minister twice when Jayalalithaa stepped down due to cases against her, and then chief minister following her death on December 5, 2016.

Aug 19: Palaniswami and Panneerselvam express confidence merger will happen soon.

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