Merger of Two AIADMK Factions on Cards in Tamil Nadu

Posted August 11, 2017

Chennai: T T V Dhinakaran on Thursday warned of "surgical action" against Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rubbished the party statements questioning his appointment as AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary and that of party chief VK Sasikala. Palanisamy's resolution comes days after TTV Dinakaran "exercised his powers" as the Deputy General Secretary of the party and announced a statewide tour. 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. "We request the party cadre to ignore them", a leader of EPS faction said.

He was admitted by Sasikala on February 15, the day she surrendered in the Bengaluru court in connection with the corruption case, and on the same day he was made party deputy general secretary. While its mission has already been accomplished in Bihar, things could soon get a push in Tamil Nadu where the virtually leaderless AIADMK (just opposite to the ego tussle of two heavyweight leaders in Bihar) has little option other than accepting Modi's supremacy to stay relevant.

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"Whatever appointments were made by T.T.V. Dinakaran are not according to the party law".

Former chief minister Panneerselvam had last week said that the leaders in the rival camp were "only making comments" on the unification, but not making much effort. Recently, Dinakaran had rewarded 20 MLAs with party posts for supporting the government. "It is only based on the letter I sent as DGS that the EC allotted the symbol for the party", Dinakaran said.

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In the Dinakaran camp, the suspicion now is that the BJP has increased pressure on the two factions to merge quickly. This is meant to make a meeting between Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswamy and O Panneerselvam possible. Former minister KP Munusamy said two central demands of the faction are yet to be met.

With Palaniswami and Paneerselvam arriving in Delhi on Thursday evening to take part in Friday's swearing-in ceremony of new Vice-President elect Venkaiah Naidu, there was speculation as to whether they could have a meeting of sorts to thrash out the sticky points standing in the way of a merger.

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Though there are few elements in the party who support Dhinakaran, soon they will be "disciplined", party insiders said. The party also wants the AIADMK government to continue, since an election in Tamil Nadu now will be to the advantage of the Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.