August 1, 2017
Chennai: It is no longer if but when warring factions of AIADMK unite and join the NDA fold and council of union ministers.
The development was confirmed by a host of BJP leaders, in Delhi and in Tamil Nadu, even as the two factions of AIDAMK indicated that merger talks were on.
The only spoiler in the works is TTV Dinakaran, deputy general secretary of the AIADMK, working on behalf of jailed general secretary and his aunt, VK Sasikala. On Tuesday, Dinakaran asserted that “there will be no merger. I know what is all going on.” His declaration came minutes after state finance minister D Jayakumar asserted that “merger talks were on.”
He made light of the fact that MLAs and ministers were meeting saying that “these meetings are routine” and asked the media not to sensationalise and dramatize routine developments.
If merger happens and AIADMK joins the NDA government at the centre, as is being hinted by top BJP leaders here in Tamil Nadu, it will be after four years that Tamil Nadu will find adequate representation in the union council of ministers after March 2013 when DMK walked out of UPA alliance and government at the centre over the Sri Lankan Tamil issue.
While the DMK and DMDK of Captain Vijayakanth allege that it was a drama being scripted by the BJP, state unit chief of the ruling party at the center, Tamilisai Soundarrajan, said that there was nothing wrong if the central government and Tamil Nadu government came together to work for the benefit of the people of the state.
She neither confirmed nor denied speculations rife over AIADMK joining NDA government led by prime minister Narendra Modi.
H Raja, a senior TN state BJP leader said merger of the two factions of AIADMK could happen very soon.
However, another BJP source said that “things many happen slowly. The two factions are with us but they have differences. Only once they are ironed out will the merger happen But we are not in a hurry.”
The merger talks were stuck following the insistence of the OPS camp on dumping of the Mannargudi Family and removing it from government and party.
Former chief minister O Panneerselvam is firm on ouster of Sasikala and Dinakaran from party and government for any merger. “Demand for a probe into death of J Jayalalithaa and ouster of Mannargudi family are the two preconditions that are absolutely non-negotiable,” former education minister M Pandiarajan said.
There is a new committee being formed for merger talks, a senior OPS camp leader said.
Meanwhile, politics and politicking picked up pace, ever since the Presidential polls. On August 5, Dinakaran has summoned a meeting at party headquarters, which the ruling EPS faction is said to be opposing. There are chances that Dinakaran may be arrested to prevent him taking over reigns of the party, sources said.