Tamil Nadu CM Forms Panel to Hold Merger Talks With Panneerselvam

  • Tamil Nadu CM creates seven-member committee to hold talks with OPS 
  • OPS camp says no merger talks till Sasikala, Dhinakaran submit their resignations
  • Dhinakaran has been asked to appear before Delhi Police on Saturday in the EC bribery case
  • Ruling AIADMK ousts VK Sasikala and party’s Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran
  • Possibility of a merger between the two AIADMK factions on cards
  • OPS claims “first victory” after Sasikala, Dhinakaran’s expulsion
  • Dhinakaran said he “stepped aside” from his post in interest of the party

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palanisamy on Friday formed a seven-member committee to hold merger talks with the O Panneerselvam faction.

It will be headed by Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithiyalingam and includes ministers C Sreenivasan, KA Sengottaiyan, D Jayakumar, among others.

According to CNN-News18, the ruling AIADMK is ready for a CBI probe into former CM Jayalalithaa’s death, which was also one of Panneerselvam camp’s demands ahead of a merger.

It also said that Palanisamy is likely to retain his CM chair, while Panneerselvam may hold the party’s general secretary post.

On Thursday, following a meeting of MLAs and MPs, who pledged allegiance to former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, senior leader KP Munusamy announced that there could be no talks until Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran submitted their resignations.

The camp also demanded that the EPS faction inform the Election Commission that Sasikala and Dhinakaran no longer head the party, and that the state government push for a CBI-led investigation into Jayalalithaa’s death.

In response, the rival faction said it has no conditions to start talks for the merger.

R Vaithilingam, senior leader of EPS camp We impose no conditions. We are ready to hold talks with OPS faction on merger. Let’s all work together to retrieve the Two-Leaf symbol.

TTV Dhinakaran has been asked to appear before the Crime Branch of Delhi Police on Saturday in a case of alleged bribery to EC officials for retrieving the party’s ‘two leaves’ symbol.

The Delhi Police had on Wednesday night served summons to him in the case.

Assistant Commissioner Sanjay and another official served the summons to Dhinakaran at his Besant Nagar residence in Chennai.

An economic offences court on Wednesday framed charges against Dhinakaran in a FERA violation case as the Madras High Court refused to quash it along with another similar case.

Justice V Bharathidasan refused to call back the two FERA violation cases against the AIADMK leader, that the judge had remitted earlier to the economic offences court for trial.

Justice Bharathidasan before whom Dhinakaran’s recall plea came up for hearing on Wednesday, made it clear that the order cannot be recalled “as it never suffered nullity”. At this, the counsel for Dhinakaran sought withdrawal of the recall plea, which was allowed to be withdrawn as “dismissed”.

With the framing of charges by the court, Dinakaran now stands formally indicted in the Dipper investment case in which he has been accused by the Enforcement Directorate of transferring $1 crore illegally.

The economic offences court is likely to frame charges against him in the second FERA case pertaining to Barclay’s Bank, where Dhinakaran has been charged with transferring around Rs 37.6 crore illegally.

Speaking to the media, M Thambidurai of the AIADMK has said that E Palanisamy enjoys the support of 124 MLAs and therefore there is no question of change of CM.

After his ouster from the AIADMK, TTV Dhinakaran on Wednesday thanked his supporters for standing by him during the intense power struggle within the party. Speaking to the media he said:

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all my party office-bearers and cadres who’ve extended their full fledged support to me till now.

Also Read: Sasikala’s Clan Holds the Fort Despite Fissures in the Family

While addressing the media, AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi chief O Panneerselvam said that the expulsion of TTV Dhinakaran and VK Sasikala from all organisational posts of AIADMK Amma is the “first victory” of his “dharma yudh” against them.

After Jayalalithaa’s death, there was an attempt by Sasikala and her family to take over the reins of AIADMK... That is when our dharma yudh to reclaim the party began. This is our first victory and we will continue to fight for the people and the party cadres.

On the question of a merger between both factions, OPS said:

We will talk to fulfil the aspirations of lakhs of party workers.

After AIADMK leaders on Tuesday night announced the ouster of Dhinakaran, he said that he “stepped aside” on Tuesday night in the interest of the party and made it clear that the MLAs’ meet called by him was not a show of strength.

TTV DhinakaranThey might have done this (revolt) due to some fear. May be there was some dissatisfaction against me. But I don’t know... All MLAs have been asked to come. It is not a show of strength.

On Delhi Police issuing a lookout notice against him, he said that his passport has been with the government for the last 20 years.

How will I escape India? I am not going to fight for power.

Dhinkaran also said that he has no problem with the possible merger of AIADMK factions if it benefits the party and that he has “no regrets on being sidelined”.

Calling it an “internal matter”, BJP leader and Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said that “neither the BJP nor the Central government has any role or has any interest in what is happening within the AIADMK”.

Venkaiah NaiduKeeping Jayalalithaa’s memory alive and as a tribute to her, they (AIADMK leaders) should stay united and work for the welfare of the people.

The immigration department on Wednesday informed that Delhi Police has issued a lookout notice against Dhinakaran fearing he might flee the country.

In a dramatic turn of events, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palanisamy cabinet on Tuesday revolted against AIADMK Amma Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran and their jailed leader Sasikala by keeping him and his family out of the party and the government.

Emerging from a “consultative” meeting chaired by Palanisamy, Finance Minister D Jayakumar declared that the “unanimous” decision was taken in tune of the aspirations of the party cadres and people.

D Jayakumar A decision has been taken to fully keep away Dhinakaran and his family from the party and the government.

He claimed it was the desire of all party cadres, top functionaries, district secretaries, MPs, MLAs, and the Ministers.

A committee will be formed soon to run the day-to-day affairs of the party, he said.

Replying to a question, Jayakumar, however, said the decision was not linked to the demand of rebel leader O Panneerselvam that party General Secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran be kept away as a pre-condition for talks for merger of the rival factions.

Also Read: 20 AIADMK Ministers Oust Sasikala, TTV Dhinakaran From Party

Delhi Police lodged an FIR against TTV Dhinakaran for allegedly trying to bribe the Election Commission with Rs 50 crore in order to obtain the coveted ‘two leaves’ party symbol for the AIADMK Amma faction.

He was booked on the basis of audio recording, and there is enough evidence against him, said Thanthi TV, quoting Delhi Police sources.

Delhi Police is likely to send a team to Chennai with summons for Dhinakaran.

This came after his alleged middleman Sukesh Chandrashekhar was arrested from a posh hotel in south Delhi on Sunday night. Police also said that the 28-year-old was in possession of Rs 1.3 crore cash that he claimed was meant for bribing the EC.

Dhinakaran has denied claims of having any links with the Sukesh.

Also Read: Who Is Sukesh, the Man Caught in the Dhinakaran-EC Bribery Case?

(With inputs from PTI , ANI and The News Minute.)