If you thought Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony brought an end to the political crisis in Tamil Nadu, think again. The O Panneerselvam camp hasn’t yet given up and it appears is in no mood to give in yet. On Friday, the OPS camp claimed to have “removed” AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala and her two relatives from the party. E Madhusudanan, who was earlier removed as the party’s presidium chairman by Sasikala, said Sasikala and her relatives had gone against the party principles and ideals that she had “violated” her promise to the late Jayalalithaa of “not entering politics as she had no inclination to be a part of the party or government”.
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“V K Sasikala is being removed from the party’s primary membership for going against the party principles and ideals, and having violated her promise to Amma (Jayalalithaa), besides facing criminal cases. She has brought disrepute to the party,” he said in a statement. Interestingly, the AIADMK had, last week, sacked Panneerselvam from the primary membership of the party.
Madhusudanan asked AIADMK members not to have any association with Sasikala. This comes a day after Sasikala loyalist Edappadi K Palaniswami was sworn in as Chief Minister, and he will seek a trust vote on Saturday in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
Earlier on Thursday, the Panneerselvam camp had moved the Election Commission challenging the election of V K Sasikala as general secretary of the party, saying she was elevated in violation of the norms. A 12-member delegation of the faction led by Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and other top officials, and submitted a memorandum demanding that it decline approval to her elevation to the top party post.
Madusudanan, who had joined the Pannneerselvam camp last week, had been replaced with KA Sengottaiyan as the AIADMK Presidium Chairman by Sasikala, a move rejected by the Panneerselvam camp. He was also removed from the party’s primary membership but insisted Sasikala had no authority to do so.
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Sasikala is currently serving a jail term of a little less than four years in connection with the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case, in Bengaluru.
Madusudanan also announced the “expulsion” of AIADMK Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran and S Venkatesh, both relatives of Sasikala, from the party. He said Jayalalithaa had earlier (in 2011) expelled them from the party for “betraying” her. “Their re-induction, done without any authority, is being cancelled,” he said.
The two were allowed to join AIADMK on Wednesday by Sasikala, after six years of expulsion by her predecessor Jayalalithaa. Sasikala had announced that they were being allowed to join after they had expressed regret for their acts and requested that they be allowed to join the AIADMK again.
In an intra-party power struggle, Panneerselvam had revolted against Sasikala on February 7, alleging he was forced to step down to make way for her elevation as Chief Minister.