Tamil Nadu: Stage set for AIADMK merger, but war of words erupts between factions

The AIADMK (Amma) camp clarified that they had set up a panel to hold talks with the Panneerselvam camp, but without any conditions.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Updated: April 21, 2017 11:45 am
A supporter of T T V Dinakaran tries to set himself on fire in Chennai on Wednesday. PTI

Even as the stage appears set for a merger between rival factions of the AIADMK, a war of words has erupted between the factions in their attempt to gain the upper hand in sealing the deal. Soon after ministers in the ruling faction, headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, agreed to the demand of the O Panneerselvam faction to keep out TTV Dinakaran and his aunt V K Sasikala, Panneerselvam on Wednesday claimed this development as his first victory in the effort to save the party.

A statement from M Thambidurai, an MP with the ruling faction, quickly followed, reiterating that Palaniswami would not be removed from the Chief Minister’s post.

On Thursday, minister D Jayakumar maintained that the decision to keep Sasikala’s family away was taken for the party’s future, not because of pressure from Panneerselvam. “Panneerselvam would even claim that Donald Trump was elected US President by him,” Jayakumar said, ridiculing Panneerselvam’s attempt to take credit for the Sasikala family ouster.

The Panneerselvam faction, in turn, presented two conditions to the ruling faction for the merger. They wanted the AIADMK (Amma) faction to withdraw the affidavits filed with the Election Commission declaring Sasikala and Dinakaran as general secretary and deputy general secretary, respectively. They also demanded that Palaniswami seek a CBI probe into the death of former CM and party chief J Jayalalithaa.

While many leaders from the Panneerselvam faction claimed that Dinakaran’s ouster was an eyewash, former minister K P Munusamy (with Panneerselvam) said: “We want the expulsion of Sasikala as general secretary and Dinakaran as deputy general secretary. A statement must be issued. Also, a CBI probe on Amma’s death is must. Otherwise we will not hold talks with them.”

The AIADMK (Amma) camp clarified that they had set up a panel to hold talks with the Panneerselvam camp, but without any conditions.

Rajya Sabha member R Vaithilingam (with ruling faction) said they wanted the party united and the party symbol retrieved from the Election Commission. Insisting that they were ready to talk but without conditions, Vaithilingam asked why Panneerselvam did not set up a probe team on Jayalalithaa’s death when he was CM. “Already there is a PIL before the Madras High Court on Amma’s death. The state government is ready to act on the court’s order,” he said. Vaithilingam pointed out that Dinakaran had already distanced himself from the party and Sasikala was in prison.

Amid reports that Palaniswami demanded the resignation of Health Minister C Vijayabaskar on Thursday, opposition leader M K Stalin said the two AIADMK factions had brought shame on Tamil Nadu as they were only interested in being in power or capturing power.

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  1. T
    Apr 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm
    General election is the only solution. these people are not cared about the state. who bothers about their symbol. whether their retai ilai is going to solve Tamil Nadu problem . all ministers are selfish.
  2. S
    Sankaran Krishnan
    Apr 21, 2017 at 1:29 pm
    Remember that people are all watching the developments and if you try to fool the people then be ready for the outrage against the Party in all the coming elections and they will throw you OUT !! The present AIADMK is power hungry and for the remaining loot over the next few years they can do anything to stick on power be it OPS or EPS !!!
  3. S
    S bmniac
    Apr 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm
    All the world's a stage for these politicians as for the Tamil farmers
  4. S
    Apr 21, 2017 at 8:56 am
    Everyone in AIADMK wants unity for survival. Especially those tagging on to Sasikala clan wants unity with OPS as well as money through the corrupt practice of Chinnamma. thambidurai, Sengottayan and Palaniswamy are enacting a drama of distancing themselves from Sasikala while surrendering the control to them. These contradictions are against public interest.