A late-night emergency meeting between several Tamil Nadu ministers belonging to the Sasikala faction indicated that a merger might be on the cards with the faction led by former state chief minister O Panneerselvam. The Sasikala faction has been reeling after some of its leaders came under the Income-Tax scanner and were also facing allegations of bribery in the run up to the RK Nagar bypoll. It leaves the faction with not a lot of options besides reuniting the party.
Before the two factions come to the negotiating table, it appears OPS is highly unlikely to budge on any of his demands. This could spell fresh trouble for the AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew and party deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran as they may be staring at an exit from the party. So, is this the end game for Sasikala?
As reported by the Indian Express on Sunday, members of the Sasikala faction were deliberating options to safeguard the AIADMK and the government in Tamil Nadu. According to the report, several solutions were mooted, including a merger with the breakaway OPS camp. However, the consensus was clear. Dinakaran must be shown the door.
A senior minister had told IE that if the Delhi Police arrest Dinakaran, the merger is likely to be finalised with Panneerselvam getting the finance portfolio and a top post in the party. While addressing a press conference in Chennai on Tuesday afternoon, OPS said that the party should not be in the control of one family and that Jayalalithaa’s death should be probed. He said that Jayalalithaa always kept Sasikala’s family away. He accused Sasikala of betraying Jayalalithaa and reasserted his demand that those who betrayed amma have to go. So it seems Sasikala’s ouster will be one of the key demands by OPS if the merger goes through.