Eye on merger, Edappadi K Palaniswami distances party from Sasikala, Dhinakaran

S Ramadoss

S Ramadoss

A meeting presided over by Palaniswami (in picture) said Dhinakaran's appointment was against party rules. Jayalalithaa's most trusted Panneerselvam has been asked to take the oath as Chief Minister and the whole party supported it.

The AIADMK Amma faction has stated that the appointment of Dinakaran as Sasikala's deputy was done against party by-laws. The merger talks were fast-tracked as Dinakaran tried to assert his position with a series of appointments. Significantly, Palaniswamy would visit New Delhi to attend the swearing-in of vice president M Venkaiah Naidu this evening.

The crisis within the Tamil Nadu along with ruling party AIADMK, which had begun after the death of party supremo J Jayalalithaa, may end soon as the two divided factions have inched closer to a merger deal.

Dhinkaran said the Palaniswami camp's act of coming out against him was due to several fears and one of them was that he was going to start my state wide tour to strengthen the party.

On his part, Dhinakaran rejected EPS camp' resolution saying no one has the right to remove him from the post of 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. Panneerselvam is adamant on the removal of party chief VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran, which will lead to another round of power struggle. An MLA close to Dinakaran, Vetrivel, who participated in the AIADMK meeting said, "Sasikala and Dinakaran can not be removed from the party". It is understood that the BJP was nudging both the factions to unite and even consider the prospects of joining the NDA formally.

According to AIADMK bylaws, only those who had been a member for five consecutive years can hold posts.

"When office-bearers appointed by Puratchi Thalaivi Amma are leading the party in unison, appointments made by him (Dhinakaran) with intent to create confusion in the AIADMK will not bind the party cadres". Sasikala moved into Jayalalithaa's house at Poes garden in 1988, soon after MGR's death and soon took over as her housekeeper, confidante and poltical aide. Another significant aspect of the resolution signed by 27 office bearers, including Palaniswami, is that it did not use the honorific of "Chinamma" to refer Sasikala, as was the practice in the past.

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