EPS paves way for merger, says TTV appointment illegal

AIADMK TTV Dhinakaran K Palaniswami no-trust motion against Palaniswami govt M K Stalin Panneerslevam tamil nadu government indian express news

M K Stalin

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid growing speculation over the merger of the two factions of the AIADMK in the state.

Sasikala is now in jail; she had appointed Dinakraran the party's deputy general secretary just before being imprisoned. Prospects of a merger of the two factions of the AIADMK brightened with the Palaniswami-led Amma camp yesterday moving against the appointment of Sasikala's nephew Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary. Although it is believed that OPS was expecting to became the CM again with a fresh election, everyone came to realise that a fresh Assembly election might just turn the voters away from AIADMK, especially in the wake of allegations of financial irregularities and the long ongoing turmoil in the party.

The sources said the Panneerselvam faction will present a copy of Thursday's resolution to the EC.

The AIADMK split following the death in December of then Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

The resolution was hard-hitting on Dhinakaran as it noted that late Jayalalithaa expelled him from the party in 2011 and his re-induction into the AIADMK in February 2017 was in violation of the party bylaws, since he failed to continue as primary member for five years.

In a press conference convened later in the afternoon, Dinakaran scoffed at the decision and said that Sasikala was formally elected as the general secretary by the same set of people and that his appointment was valid because it was done by the general secretary. After meeting his aunt Sasikala at the Bengaluru prison, Dinakaran recently announced his state-wide tour itinerary, according to which he would launch an extensive tour of the state from Madurai on August 14. "For sure, all steps will be taken for party growth".

From left, Tamil Nadu CM E K Palaniswami, VK Sasikala, O pannerselvam and TTV Dinakaran.

If Dinakaran were to mobilise support - 37 MLAs were said to be backing him - it would endanger the Palaniswami government. That would mean Palanisami manages the government while the party is controlled by OPS. "But how long will they survive?"

The BJP will be keenly watching.

The warring AIADMK factions in Tamil Nadu are likely to plan a merger as they look for ways to avert certain defeat in the next round of elections, amidst a chorus of protests from within and outside the party factions over the open abuse of democracy by the ruling party. "Anyway, this is not going to help the party or the government", the MLA said.

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