AIADMK dilemma: To save or jettison Dhinakaran

12 August, 2017, 00:10 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • E Palaniswamy and O Paneerselvam

CHENNAI Opening the doors for a possible merger of the two AIADMK factions, Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led Amma faction challenged the authority of its Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran, a move hailed by the rebel camp as an "awakening". Since the death of Jayalalithaa, there have been two chief ministers and several other rebellions in the state.

Sasikala, the general secretary of the Amma faction, had been the de facto No 2 in the AIADMK for over three decades thanks to her close association with Jayalalithaa as her live-in aide. The BJP stands to gain at the state in return in the future elections with the assistance of the AIADMK, the largest party, and also the presence of the iconic actor Rajinikanth. The Chief Minister on Monday said he expected to see the merger very soon and his comments had come after the AIADMK (PTA) complained that the ruling group had not shown interest in the merger. It was also reported that leaders of factions were in contact with BJP leaders at the Centre, fuelling speculations of a unified AIADMK joining the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Palaniswamy at the party headquarters in Royapettah chose to overrule the elevation of Sasikala's nephew as party deputy general secretary as null and void.

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The resolution now completely sidelines Dinakaran from the AIADMK and makes way for a merger with O Panneerselvam camp.

Palaniswami was here to attend the swearing-in ceremony of M. Venkaiah Naidu as Vice President. He is said to have offered to OPS the post of deputy CM. More agitations, just as the one held by the party's yuva morcha recently, to ask for holding local polls and better quality of teachers in government schools are being planned. Once that happens, Edappadi government can get the support of seven MLAs. He went into self-imposed exile after being named as a suspect for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission officials. All that the resolution in today's meeting would say was that Sasikala's appointment was temporary and that Dinakaran's post was against party rules. In fact, in April itself some of the ministers had "ousted" Dinakaran and his family from the party, but there was no follow up action to formalize the decision.

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