Moving a step closer to the rebel faction led by O Panneerselvam ahead of the rumoured merger, the ruling faction of AIADMK headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami passed a resolution against party deputy general secretary and VK Sasikala’s nephew, TTV Dinakaran, by declaring recent party appointments he made last week null and void.
However, sources in the OPS camp said their conditions are still not met – removal of Sasikala, her family members including Dinakaran from the party and a probe into the death of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
When the resolution signed by top leaders in the ruling faction has clearly taken a decision cancelling all appointments made by Dinakaran, it restrained from expelling him and Sasikala from the party – the main demand of the OPS camp. While leaving the post of Sasikala untouched, terming it as an interim arrangement, the resolution said the appointment of Dinakaran as deputy general secretary, who was expelled from the party once by Jayalalithaa, is not acceptable.
Dinakaran was named the deputy general secretary by his aunt Sasikala, who is currently lodged in a Bengaluru prison after being convicted in the disproportionate assets case. In June this year, Dinakaran got bail in a case in which he was charged of trying to bribe Election Commission officials for the ownership of the AIADMK’s ‘two leaves’ symbol in the RK Nagar bypoll. Dinakaran was the party candidate in the bypoll necessitated by the death of chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
Sources in the ruling faction said an agitated Dinakaran may go against the government, which has only 123 MLAs against the minimum number of 118, to try to topple it with the support of 37 MLAs supporting Sasikala. But many believe that the usual herd nature of AIADMK MLAs, who stay back with the faction that has majority and power, might help them in retaining the government with the blessings of BJP at the Centre.