Delhi police serve summons to AIDMK leader Dinakaran over symbol case

In a twist to the developments of the last 24 hours, the former Chief Minister, O. Panneerselvam, on April 18 Tuesday ruled out the merger of the two factions of the AIADMK if V.K. Sasikala remains in a united party.

"I will not try to prove my strength", said Dhinakaran, who declared that he was "stepping aside", although he was non committal on whether he would be continuing as the Deputy General Secretary of the party. The then surrogate chief minister OPS was asked to resign and make way for Jayalalithaa's long-time companion Sasikala.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police is likely to send a team to Chennai with summons for Dinakaran, accused of allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official to obtain the "two-leaves" symbol for his faction.

The AIADMK split into two after late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa's death.

While the Edappadi faction offered to merge with the OPS camp, Panneerselvam said that this would be possible only if Sasikala and Dinakaran were removed from the party.

Some AIADMK MLAs have rallied around Dinakaran. "Our victory will continue", Panneerselvam said.

But police have in their custody Sukesh Chandrasekhar, the alleged middleman who was picked from a 5-star hotel in New Delhi yesterday, a senior police official said.

He said they need not have gone public with their revolt against him and said " Had they asked me, I would have resigned". "To put it directly, it is the desire of people and party workers that TTV Dhinakaran and his family should be sidelined", Jayakumar said. In the Tamil Nadu assembly, Sasikala faction earlier enjoyed the support of 122 MLAs and Panneerselvam 12.

However, several of her supporters have switched to the Panneerselvam camp lately. "However, the ministers could have convened the meeting at the party headquarters and told me about it", a visibly upset Dhinakaran said. The dramatic announcement by Jayakumar is likely to trigger another round of political uncertainty in the state, with some MLAs vowing allegiance to Dhinakaran while questioning the Ministers' decision.

Majority of the legislators had lined behind Sasikala and her nominee E. Palaniswami was elected as the Chief Minister.

Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, speaking to a news channel in New Delhi on Wednesday, urged Dinakaran to respect the party's decision.

Though the Palaniswami and Panneerselvam camps have shown inclination for the merger of the two factions, there have not been any direct talks between them so far.

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