The two rival factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu’s ruling party have reportedly finalized the merger deal, and reinstate rebel leader, O Paneerselvam (OPS) as the Chief Minister (CM).
The current Chief Minister EK Palaniswami will step down and take the position of the party’s General Secretary, replacing V.K. Sasikala.
A senior leader of the AIADMK has reportedly revealed the ongoing developments towards the merger. The ruling AIADMK faction sealed the deal due to “vulnerable state of the government”. The senior leaders of both the factions will soon meet and finalize the deal. The merger is likely to be announced on Monday.
“Health Minister, C Vijayabaskar, whose properties were raided by the Income Tax officials, may be expelled from the cabinet. Ex-Minister and MLA Senthil Balaji, along with one or two more faces from Southern Tamil Nadu, may be introduced in the cabinet. Meanwhile, other leaders in the ruling faction have started to distance themselves from Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran.
The talks for the merger of the two factions was witnessed last Monday, when Dinakaran was booked for allegedly offering bribe to an Election Commission official, to obtain the party’s poll symbol of “two leaves” in a by-election to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu. Yesterday, both the factions of the AIADMK formed committees to discuss the merger. The panel of OPS was headed by Ex-AIADMK Minister KP Munuswamy, which also includes senior leaders Mafoi Pandiarajan and V Maitreyan. Palaniswamy had formed a seven-member committee which will be headed by Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithiyalingam, and includes ministers C Sreenivasan, KA Sengottaiyan and D Jayakumar among others.
The Panneerselvam camp had on Thursday demanded that the faction led by Palanisamy formally expel Sasikala and Dhinakaran, besides about 30 other members of their family from the party. Dhinakaran, following the revolt from his party, had said he was “stepping aside” in the interest of the party. KP Munusamy, a top leader in the OPS camp, said the first demand was getting the resignation of Sasikala and Dinakaran and later their formal expulsion. The OPS camp, also sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inevstigation into the circumstances, leading to Ex-Chief Minister and late Jayalalithaa’s death on December 5 last year.