PM's word spurred AIADMK factions to resume merger talks

PM's word spurred AIADMK factions to resume merger talks

Summary: In a fresh development in Tamil Nadu politics, AIADMK members of Jayalalthaa faction led by Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, on Thursday contended that the appointment of TTV Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary by Sasikala violated the party by-laws.

Sources in the Panneerselvam camp, however, say Palaniswami continuing as CM and Panneerselvam becoming the party general secretary is not a solution.

A Senior leader from the O Panneerselvam-led faction said that Sasikala's removal and setting up of a judicial enquiry into AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa's death are "our fundamental demands for unification".

Interlocuters are said to have come up with alternative proposals including one that envisages OPS as "working general secretary" of the AIADMK while letting Palanisami stay on as CM.

A high-level meeting of this group, presided over by Palaniswami, declared Dinakaran's appointment as deputy general secretary by his aunt and general secretary VK Sasikala "illegal".

"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". I will never undermine the rule of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.




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. Her camp then moved party MLAs to a resort ahead of a crucial trust vote. "But I can tell you that will not happen", a Dinakaran loyalist said.

"He believes no action would be taken against him because of this threat", a senior AIADMK (Amma) leader said.

The factions have been facing pressure to merge from the ruling BJP in New Delhi.

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.

Insiders within the state BJP unit claim that he has given an ultimatum to EPS and OPS factions to announce the merger within August 15, and hold a grand rally when Shah will visit the state in the end of the month. "The signatories of today's resolution, including Palaniswami, had endorsed Sasikala as general secretary (in December last year)".

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