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AIADMK merger: Dinakaran puts up a strong fight amid talks of ouster

LiveMint logoLiveMint 19-04-2017 Dharani Thangavelu

Chennai: There seems to be no end to chaos within the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which is heading towards a merger.

While senior ministers on Tuesday night decided to oust V.K. Sasikala and her nephew T.T.V. Dinakaran, at least eight MLAs have extended their support to Dinakaran, indicating that Dinakaran doesn’t want to leave without a fight.

The sharing of portfolios, including the chief minister’s post, seems to be the point of discussion between chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and former chief minister O. Panneerselvam factions.

Dinakaran, who has called for a meeting of all the MLAs and district secretaries at 3pm on Wednesday at the AIADMK headquarters, said, “All MLAs are still with us. There is no opposition for me within the party.”

“Nobody has to sideline me. I know what decisions to take in the interest of the party and the government,” he said.

On Tuesday night, following discussions with Palaniswami, minister for finance and fisheries D. Jayakumar had said, “V.K. Sasikala, her nephew T.T.V. Dinakaran and her family would be sidelined from the party affairs, as this is the wish of the 1.5 cadres of AIADMK and the people of Tamil Nadu.”

“We will stand united to safeguard the party and the two leaves symbol of the party,” he added.

This came in hours after Panneerselvam asserted that the expulsion of Sasikala, Dinakaran and other family members was necessary for the merger of the AIADMK.

Also Read: AIADMK merger on the cards, with Sasikala, TTV Dinakaran sidelined

The ouster of Sasikala and Dinakaran has not gone well with some of the legislators.

“Dinakaran is an undisputed leader and he is the one who can decide on the direction of AIADMK,” said senior leader Nanjil Sampath.

He added: “The decisions taken by ministers and others is due to the pressure from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). They fear IT raids.”

MLA P. Vetrivel, another Dinakaran loyalist, who alleged that Panneerselvam was eyeing the chief minister’s post and some of the key portfolios, said, “Our general secretary is Sasikala and our deputy general secretary is TTV.”

Also Read: AIADMK merger rumours swirl amid TTV Dinakaran EC bribe issue

In February, when the feud was brewing between the Sasikala camp and Panneerselvam, after a meeting at the AIADMK headquarters, over 100 AIADMK MLAs were packed off in buses to a private resort by the Sasikala faction, on the outskirts of Chennai, presumably to prevent horse-trading.

Panneerselvam had in February rebelled against Sasikala, alleging that he was forced to resign so that she becomes the chief minister of the state. Since then, the ruling party of Tamil Nadu has been in a disarray.

While Sasikala was elevated as the general secretary of the party in December, she appointed her nephew Dinakaran as the deputy general of the AIADMK, hours before her surrender at a Bengaluru jail following her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.

However, in an interim order last month, the Election Commission (EC) ruled neither faction of the AIADMK could use the party name and symbol in the RK Nagar bypoll slated for 12 April, which was later rescinded due to allegations of cash for vote.

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