AIADMK merger soon? Palaniswami attacks Dinakaran, goes soft on Sasi

Jerome Frank
August 11, 2017

In a jolt to Sasikala, a meeting presided over by Chief Minister K Palaniswami today said the appointment of Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary was against party rules as he openly questioned their authority. "Will this not be ridiculed?" he asked, adding that numerous new appointees are those who were sidelined by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for "non-performance". The move comes as a massive blow to the Sasikala faction of the party. The meeting is seen as his most categorical assertion in party affairs since taking over the reins in February amid reports that the merger of the two factions could take place before August 15.

According to party sources, merger talks made much progress after AIADMK (Amma) deputy general secretary Dhinakaran made arbitrary appointments for many of his supporters in the party, besides releasing a schedule of campaign tour.

Noting that Dhinakaran's appointment was also under the scrutiny of the Election Commission, the AIADMK (Amma) led by Palaniswami wondered how Dhinakaran could make new appointments at such a juncture. The merger will also add two of Panneerselvam's followers into the council of ministers of Tamil Nadu.

Sources said it also means that after the merger, O Panneerselvam will not be the general secretary of the party, but will only lead a committee that would run the party and coordinate with the government. Dhinakaran said the same leaders who were now talking against them were the ones who had campaigned for him in the RK Nagar bypoll which was subsequently cancelled. "Dinakaran has been clearly told he has no powers". Recently, Dinakaran had rewarded 20 MLAs with party posts for supporting the government.

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In the Dinakaran camp, the suspicion now is that the BJP has increased pressure on the two factions to merge quickly.

However, the response to Thursday's statement from the chief minister has been lukewarm in the Panneerselvam camp.

The merger is crucial for the AIADMK to get back its two leaves symbol - that was frozen after the split - that is necessary to reach out to the masses easily.

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.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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