August 9, 2017
Chennai: AIADMK factions could merger sooner than expected!
Chief Minister Edapaddi Palanisami has called a meeting of senior ministers and party leaders tomorrow to discuss and ratify draft merger proposal that has former chief minister O Panneerselvam taking charge of the party as the interim general secretary and cabinet expansion to accommodate three of his colleagues.
The proposal, which has the approval of OPS, sources said was being rushed through in the wake of a fresh attempt by AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran to capture the party apparatus by inducting his nominees as key office bearers. It may be recalled that Dinakaran appointed many office bearers giving an impression that he is the overall boss of the party, working on behalf of his aunt VK Sasikala who is in jail serving a four year sentence for corruption.
After the merger proposal is ratified by the meeting tomorrow, chief minister Palanisami is expected to leave for Delhi to attend the swearing in ceremony of vice president M Venkaiah Naidu. In the evening, the chief minister is likely to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and appraise him of the merger proposal.
It may be recalled that the PM had advised the two factions of the AIADMK to merge and later come to an understanding with the BJP, for a tie up before the general elections to Lok Sabha. The PM sources said was also open to the idea of AIADMK joining the NDA and participating in the government at the centre.
The only hindrance to merger proposal was the insistence of the OPS on ouster of Sasikala and her family members from the party and government for merger to take place. It now means that both the factions appeared to have come to an understanding over the issue and Sasikala and Dinakaran would be kept away.
Incidentally, a few days ago, chief minister Palanisami too asserted that merger of the two factions was very close.