Giving hints of a possible merger of the two AIADMK factions, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami on Thursday said the appointment of T T V Dinakaran as the party’s deputy general secretary was “not acceptable”.
Palaniswami's statement is seen as the signal of agreement to the demands put forward by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam faction.
A meeting presided over by Palaniswami on Thursday said the appointment of Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary was against party rules. Dhinakaran is nephew of jailed party chief V K Sasikala.
However, Dinakaran said that party chief Sasikala appointed him and nobody can prevent him from discharging his duty.
Nobody can prevent me from discharging my duties. As party general secretary, Sasikala has all the powers to appoint or remove people from the party… The resolution was passed to prevent me from going on a statewide tour (from August 14). The ministers are afraid of itT T V Dinakaran, AIADMK deputy general secretary
Chaired by the chief minister, originally a loyalist of Sasikala, the meeting is seen as his most categorical assertion in party affairs since taking over the reins in February this year amid reports that the merger of the two factions could take place before August 15.
A defiant Dhinakaran later told reporters in Thanjavur that the party was still under his control.
The Palaniswami camp had in April announced the sidelining of Dhinakaran and Sasikala from the party affairs and the state government.
The current move in both camps is being perceived as one step closer to a merger of the warring factions through efforts to ease out Sasikala and Dhinakaran.
Dhinakarans appointment was under the scrutiny of the Election Commission, the AIADMK (Amma) led by Palaniswami said, wondering how the former could make new appointments at such a juncture.
The fresh developments come days after Dhinakaran sought to assert his position in the party by returning to active party work after a two-month hiatus after his arrest in a case related to alleged attempt to bribe the Election Commission officials.
On August 4, Dhinakaran had announced appointment of some new office-bearers, considered his loyalists.
Citing this, a resolution by the Palainiswami camp said Thursday's meeting made it clear that such appointments by Dhinakaran was not binding on any party cadre and asked them to reject it.
"...(the appointments) will not bind any AIADMK cadre to create unnecessary confusion in our party and such appointments are not valid under party law. Cadres are requested to reject them," it said.