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AIADMK merger likely today; DMK terms it 'BJP-engineered' move

22 August 2017

The merger between Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS)-led All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) faction and O Panneerselvam (OPS)-led AIADMK faction has further been put on hold again.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy and O Panneerselvam had earlier canceled their scheduled visit to AIADMK head office to take a final decision.

Following the demands, Sasikala and Dhinakaran were ousted from the party while the Chief Minister also announced a judicial probe into the late AIADMK Chief Jayalalithaa's death.

Panneerselvam, who was administered the oath by Governor Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhawan, will also be the AIADMK coordinator while Palaniswami will be the co-coordinator of the ruling party in Tamil Nadu.

His close aide K Pandiarajan was sworn-in as minister for Tamil official language and Tamil culture.

Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam reached AIADMK headquarters in Chennai today, shook hands marking the merger of both camps. "We will fulfil all the promises made by Amma". While Jayalalithaa with her enormous popularity could get away with such demonstrations of temper, the same is being frowned upon in the Sasikala clan. It is also expected to go ahead with the merger pact with the O Panneerselvam (OPS) faction.

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Meanwhile, the faction headed by T.T.V. Dinakaran, Sasikala's nephew, has warned against his own and Sasikala's sacking as Deputy General Secretary and General Secretary of the AIADMK. But party veteran Ponnaiyan said that she will be removed from the post at party's general council meeting on Monday, while also terming her appointment as against the party rules. "The question bothering him obviously was, if EPS can ditch the person who made him chief minister, what prevented him from not honouring his word to the Panneerselvam camp".

The merger of the two factions came after weeks of hectic parleys, overcoming the acrimony and last minute tough bargaining by the Panneerselvam group which insisted on an announcement about Sasikala's removal. "Let us take a pledge to bring glory to the government and the party floated by Puratchi Thalaivar and nurtured by Puratchi Thalaivi Amma".

With this, Sasikala became Tamil Nadu's next CM before she was sentenced to jail by the SC.

"What was the compulsion for accommodating Panneerselvam, who was responsible for splitting the party, freezing of the party symbol and one who voted against the AIADMK government?" Dinakaran is said to enjoy the support of a dozen MLAs.

The Modi government had been reportedly trying to reunite the two factions.

AIADMK merger likely today; DMK terms it 'BJP-engineered' move