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22 Feb 2024, Edition - 3145, Thursday

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AIADMK Merger moves gather pace

Covai Post Network


Shown the door, TTV Dinakaran hits out and warns EPS, OPS factions of drastic action for indulging in anti-party activities.

Chennai: AIADMK factions led by chief minister Edapaddi Palanisami and former chief minster O Panneerselvam could merge soon after the chief minister sacked AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran.

A resolution nullifying the appointment of Dinakaran was passed at a crucial party meeting chaired by chief minister on Thursday. The resolution described Dinakaran’s appointment as “improper, unacceptable and invalid” clearing the decks for unification of the two factions.

With the two factions laying claim for the party symbol – of two leaves – the election commission has frozen the symbol.

Only if the two factions unite, the AIADMK will get back its popular symbol and can carry on with its branding that people recognize easily. As also, only a united AIADMK could take on the DMK, first in the local body polls that could be held soon.

The chief minister also nullified all the appointments to the party office posts made by Dinakaran, isolating him within the party.

As per the formula being worked out, EPS will continue as the chief minister and induct OPS as deputy chief minister and entrust the party to him as general secretary. Two of OPS supporters are to be inducted as ministers.

State finance minister D Jayakumar hoped that the merger would happen very very soon. Another senior AIADMK leader Durai Murugan too said that merger, in the works for a long time, was nearing completion.

However, the OPS camp, which is adamant on its demand for ouster of Sasikala, is yet to make any comment. In fact, this is one of the essential precondition for merger. The other important demands being institution of an impartial probe into the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

Political analyst Prof Ramu Manivannan of the Madras University said “the two factions have to come together as they have no future separately. For, no one knows what happens in general elections especially when the DMK looks like gaining ground.”

The morning AIADMK meeting lasted for nearly one hour. Nearly 30 ministers and top party officials participated in the meeting and key members signed the resolution that ousted Dinakaran from the party post.

A senior OPS camp leader K P Munusamy said the faction was firm in its three demands – expulsion of Sasikala, CBI probe into Jayalalithaa’s death and withdrawal of affidavits naming Sasikala as general secretary submitted to the election commission. If these are not accepted, then there can be no merger, he told media persons.

This tough stance puts a question mark over the merger schedule. Earlier it was being felt that merger could happen as early as August 15.

Even as these developments had the national media riveted on Tamil Nadu developments, with even the DMK managing a media coup of sorts by bringing Kamal Hasan and Rajinikanth together at Muraoli platimun jubilee celebrations, the man of the hour – Dinakaran hit out against the chief minister and issued a threat to take drastic action.

Dinakaran said “these people have no right to take action against me. Only Sasikala has the power to take action and I don’t have to answer to anyone else in the party.” He then issued a warning that “some people who have done wrong things are scared and wanting to stay on in power and hence doing anything to protect themselves. All those indulging in anti party activities will be punished.” What he left out was to name who these scared people were and who was pressurising them.

For sure, Tamil Nadu promises to host a thrilling political potboiler, with twists and turns, suspense and drama that distinguishes it from the politics played out in other parts of the country.

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