After being involved in a bitter political slugfest post the death of Jayalalithaa in December 2016, the power battle within the AIADMK finally witnessed last rite as OPS and EPS camps shook hands and came together on Monday.

The decks that were cleared for the merger of two factions in AIADMK — one led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and the other led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam — yesterday, suffered a minor roadblock after party deputy general secretary and VK Sasikala’s nephew, TTV Dinakaran threatened to topple the government if the party seeks any decision against Sasikala.

Notably, Dinakaran has warned Chief Minister EPS not to accept the demand of OPS camp to remove Sasikala from the party. Dinakaran enjoys the support of 17 MLAs who are at his residence in Chennai discussing their future course.

As per AIADMK party bylaws, the General Secretary cannot be removed by a resolution passed by a committee or group of office bearers.

LIVE UPDATES:

o8: 30 PM ISTMLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran reach former CM J Jayalalithaa’s memorial at Marina Beach

o5: 45 PM ISTO Panneerselvam takes charge as deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. 

04: 44 PM IST | O Panneerselvam takes oath as Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. K Pandiarajan sworn-in as minister in TN cabinet after AIADMK merger.

04: 38 PM IST | United AIADMK has reached Raj Bhawan. Swearing-in ceremony to begin soon.

RECAP: Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam will be sworn in Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister. A Raj Bhavan announcement also said that former Minister K. Pandiarajan will be sworn in as Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture.

The statement said Panneerselvam would be designated the Deputy Chief Minister and allocated the Finance portfolio.

04: 22 PM IST | CM E Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam pay floral tribute at MGR Memorial in Chennai. Meanwhile, TTV Dinakaran-VK Sasikala faction leader CR Saraswathi said, “We are happy with the merger but billion dollar question is why are they avoiding us?”

AIADMK deputy general secretary and VK Sasikala’s nephew, TTV Dinakaran who earlier threatened to topple the government if the party seeks any decision against Sasikala is yet to comment on the merger.

Notably, Dinakaran has warned Chief Minister EPS not to accept the demand of OPS camp to remove Sasikala from the party. Dinakaran enjoys the support of 17 MLAs who are at his residence in Chennai discussing their future course.

03: 56 PM IST |  CM E Palaniswami and Panneerselvam arrive at Jayalalithaa’s memorial at Marina Beach to pay tributes following the merger earlier today.

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03: 35 PM IST | AIADMK deputy general secretary and VK Sasikala’s nephew, TTV Dinakaran who earlier threatened to topple the government if the party seeks any decision against Sasikala is yet to comment on the merger.

Notably, Dinakaran has warned Chief Minister EPS not to accept the demand of OPS camp to remove Sasikala from the party. Dinakaran enjoys the support of 17 MLAs who are at his residence in Chennai discussing their future course.

03: 34 PM IST | The swearing-in ceremony is likely to take place at 4:30 PM today after both EPS and OPS meet Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao.

O Panneerselvam to be given the portfolio of Finance & the position of Deputy CM. An 11 member coordination committee will run the party now.

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03: 32 PM IST | Earlier, speaking to the party members said that Amma (Jayalalithaa) has said before that after me AIADMK will last over 100 years. We all will make sure it happens.

“Our first priority will be to retrieve the two leaves symbol. We will fulfill all the promises made by Amma,” said Palaniswami

03: 26 PM IST | Sources says that the reshuffle of the cabinet will take place in the evening today after both EPS and OPS visit Jayalalithaa memorial. Reportedly, Panneerselvam is most likely to become the Deputy CM with three other MLAs from OPS camp getting a cabinet berth.

03: 22 PM IST | Notably, there has been no word on the fate of Sasikala by Chief Minister Palaniswami.

Speaking to the gathering, EPS said that the decision on Sasikala’s expulsion will come after a meeting of the party panel.

03: 17 PM IST | OPS made convener of the party, EPS to be co-convener of AIADMK party.

“I will be co-convener KP Munusamy will be deputy co-convener,” said E Palaniswami.

03: 11 PM IST | Panneerselvam and Palaniswami have joined hands to make the AIDMK merger happen. Both the leaders addressing party workers shook hands and announced the formal announcement of the merger.

“We are putting our differences aside,” said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami.

The merger means that Sasikala will be expelled from the party soon.

02: 54 PM IST | Both Panneerselvam and Palaniswami have reached AIADMK headquarters in Chennai. Sources say that EPS has agreed to the demand of expulsion of interim General Secretary VK Sasikala.

02: 33 PM IST | Speaking to the media, AIADMK leader S Semallai belonging to te OPS faction has said that all the demands have been met by the EPS faction. “We are happy with everything. Heading to party office, expect good news,” said S Semallai.

02: 23 PM IST | After a series of talks, both EPS and OPS have come to an agreement regarding Sasikals’s expulsion. Panneerselvam and Palaniswami are on their way to the party headquarter. Sources say that the announcement of the merger will come by the evening. Post which, both the leaders will head to Jayalalithaa memorial.

It is also expected that the cabinet expansion will be discussed with both EPS and OPS will leave for Raj Bhawan to meet Tamil Nadu Governor.

02: 07 PM IST | Ministers Thangamani, Velumani and MP Vaidhiyalingam from EPS faction have arrived at OPS residence to bail out the merger process.

01: 55 PM IST | The chances of AIADMK merger seems very bleak now with Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami cancelling his scheduled visit to AIADMK party head office. 

01: 45 PM IST |  17 AIADMK MLAs, supporters of TTV Dinakaran, are at his Besant Nagar residence, meeting underway.

01: 25 IST | O Panneerselvam reportedly stays firm on his demand, says that will not come to the AIADMK party headquarter until EPS passes the resolution to remove Sasikala.

01: 11 PM IST | Meanwhile, earlier today, Karnataka police officer D Roopa, who had alleged that VK Sasikala is being given VIP treatment at Parappana Agrahara central prison, has submitted another video proof to further push her claim.

In the video, Sasikala and her relative Ilavarasi are seen walking into the prison from main entry area in civil clothes. The video has given rise to speculations that they might have been allowed to go out of prison for a brief period. It has now been handed over to the Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Karnataka police for further investigation.

Earlier, D Roopa had submitted a report to the Home Department and Director General of Police (DGP) for Prison Department HN Sathyanarayana Rao claiming that Sasikala was being provided VIP treatment in the jail. She had alleged that an exclusive kitchen had been set up inside the premises for cooking Sasikala’s meals. Roopa also said that Sasikala had been given relaxation in visiting hours in exchange for a Rs 2-crore bribe to jail officials.

12: 55 PM IST | AIADMK deputy general secretary and VK Sasikala’s nephew, TTV Dinakaran has threatened to topple the government if the party seeks any decision against Sasikala. Dinakaran has warned Chief Minister EPS not to accept the demand of OPS camp to remove Sasikala from the party. Dinakaran enjoys the support of 19 MLAs.

 

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12: 45 PM IST | The merger talks between OPS and EPS faction seems to hit a roadblock once again over the expulsion of Sasikala from the AIADMK.

Notably, one of the basic conditions laid down by the Panneerselvam camp for the merger is that AIADMK should dismiss Sasikala and her family members from the party.

The Palaniswami faction had declared the appointment of T.T.V. Dinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew, as Deputy General Secretary as “improper, unacceptable and invalid”. This was challenged by Dinakaran.

The leader also said the government can look into the possibility of reviving the Legislative Council or Upper House of the assembly to accommodate members in the party without showing the door for those now holding posts.

The Upper House in Tamil Nadu was abolished by AIADMK founder and late Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran in 1986. Attempts to revive it by a DMK government were cancelled when the AIADMK came back to power.

First Published | 21 August 2017 12:39 PM
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