In a big political development in Tamil Nadu, the two warring factions of AIADMK has agreed in principle to merge and an announcement may come as early as next week. The camp led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy held a meeting on Thursday and openly declared that TTV Dhinakaran, who was appointed as deputy general secretary by his aunt VK Sasikala, holds no post in the party.
Formally expelling both Sasikala and Dhinakaran was among the pre-conditions the Panneerselvam camp, which is also holding consultations on the possibility of merger, had made.
This is the first time that the chief minister has made a categorical assertion about the status of Dhinakaran's appointment by his aunt Sasikala on 14 February just ahead of her incarceration in the disproportionate asset case.
According to reports, the merger would formally take shape after OPS and EPS meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday. Both leaders are expected to appear before the media most likely on Saturday in Chennai, NDTV reports. Both EPS and OPS are headed to Delhi tonight for the swearing in of Venkaiah Naidu as the new Vice President.
A resolution signed by 26 office bearers of the AIADMK, including Palanisamy, asked party cadre to ignore appointments made by Dhinakaran, who they accused of creating confusion in the party. The resolution also noted that Sasikala's appointment as General Secretary after the death of J Jayalalithaa has also been challenged before the Election Commission. On 4 August Dhinakaran had made several appointments including that of his loyalists to various party posts.
“We called Amma as the permanent general secretary of the AIADMK and we would like to continue with our proclamation,” the resolution said.
Significantly, the meeting said, “Though Sasikala’s appointment as general secretary was till such time the formal election of a new general secretary as per party laws, she could not function in view of extraordinary circumstances.”
The move in both camps is being perceived as coming one step closer to a merger of the two camps by easing out Sasikala and Dhinakaran.
According to reports, it was decided that the major development is that O Panneerselvam will not be the general secretary of the party, but will lead the committee that would take care of the party and coordinate with the government. In the committee, three members from each of the factions would be nominated, Deccan Chronicle reported.
Top functionaries and senior state cabinet ministers led by Palaniswami, including KA Sengottaiyan P Thangamani, SP Velumani, Dindigul C Seenivasan, D Jayakumar and other key functionaries attended the meeting.