AIADMK (Amma) Deposes Sasikala, Dinakaran Ahead Of Merger Of Factions

E Palaniswamy and O Paneerselvam

Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami has taken another potshot at TTV Dinakaran.

The AIADMK split following the death in December of then Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. But it said the appointment of Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary, who was expelled from the party once by Jayalalithaa, is not acceptable.

O Panneerselvam, former CM of TN had earlier raised his agitation against Sasikala when she was convicted in the disproportionate assets case.

Former chief minister Panneerselvam had last week said that the leaders in the rival camp were "only making comments" on the unification, but not making much effort.

Dinakaran supporter Thangathamizhchelvan, a MLA, said nobody had the right to remove Sasikala and Dinakaran from the party.

The two competing factions of Tamil Nadu's ruling party are trying to accelerate their plans to reunite with the action shifting from Chennai to Delhi today. The merger is likely to take place before August 15 and both EPS and OPS, who will be in Delhi for Venkaiah Naidu's swearing in as Vice-president on Thrhursday evening are expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi together and formally announce their decision.

The DMK has repeatedly criticised the merger talks and said they were being fanned by the BJP, which wants to expand its footprint in the large southern state where it is a fringe player.

The BJP's interest is to ensure that a unified AIADMK backs the NDA government on crucial issues in Parliament while allowing the saffron party to organise itself in Tamil Nadu. For the first time, Panneerselvam indicated that the merger efforts could see the light of the day when he said any decision on unification would keep in mind the "aspirations and wishes of the cadre". He is said to have offered to OPS the post of deputy CM. Following this, Sasikala removed OPS as the Chief Minister and EPS took over. Sasikala was not just an aide to Jaya, but the mover and shaker within the party and the government. It was during his absence that EPS reportedly strengthened his position in the party and emerged as a real threat to Dinakaran.

If EPS moves an inch, Dinakaran will put down his government because he has 37 MLAs with him.

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