Is pressure from BJP pushing AIADMK factions to merge?

Casey Dawson
August 11, 2017

Chennai: T T V Dhinakaran on Thursday warned of "surgical action" against Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rubbished the party statements questioning his appointment as AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary and that of party chief VK Sasikala. A meeting presided over by Palaniswami (in picture) said Dhinakaran's appointment was against party rules.

If he could execute his plans over the merger, Palaniswamy is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The merger talks were fast-tracked as Dinakaran tried to assert his position with a series of appointments.

Modi had expressed his wish to see two factions coming together to provide a stable government in Tamil Nadu.

The two leaders will be in the national capital on Thursday to attend M Venkaiah Naidu's swearing-in ceremony as the Vice President.

According to sources, the two factions of the ruling AIADMK party have given their nods to a possible merger between the two.

The AIADMK also said that Dinakaran was creating confusion by appointing several party office bearers. The total strength of the House is now 233, with the Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar seat remaining vacant since the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5. Although it is believed that OPS was expecting to became the CM again with a fresh election, everyone came to realise that a fresh Assembly election might just turn the voters away from AIADMK, especially in the wake of allegations of financial irregularities and the long ongoing turmoil in the party.

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On his part, Dhinakaran rejected EPS camp' resolution saying no one has the right to remove him from the post of deputy general secretary.

The two factions have been fighting for a long time for the party symbol - two leaves - that is being heard by the Election Commission. "He can not hold any party post since he was not a party member for a continuous five years", said the resolution.

He wondered how the EPS camp could comment against Sasikala when they themselves had furnished an affidavit to the EC, endorsing her appointment as party chief.

Insiders within the state BJP unit claim that he has given an ultimatum to EPS and OPS factions to announce the merger within August 15, and hold a grand rally when Shah will visit the state in the end of the month.

The meeting also invalidated the appointment of Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary - he was appointed by Sasikala before she went to jail in the wealth case in February.

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