Endgame near for Sasikala, Dinakaran as Palaniswami orders judicial probe into Jayalalithaa death
With Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) announcing a judicial probe into the death of J Jayalalithaa, its virtually end of the road for Sasikala Natarajan and her nephew TTV Dinakaran in the AIADMK.
A probe into former chief minister Jayalalithaa's death was one of the main demands of the rival AIADMK faction led by O Panneerselvam (OPS).
Yet another demand by the Panneerselvam faction was also met as Chief Minister Palaniswami declared that Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence will be turned into a memorial.
With an announcement on the merger of the two warring camps--led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam respectively--expected anytime now, signs are ominous for Dinakaran and Sasikala, who may be formally ousted from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
Removing Sasikala's family from the party was another key demand of the Panneerselvam camp, and recently Chief Minister Palaniswami challenged the appointment of Dinakaran as the deputy general secretary of the AIADMK (Amma) faction.
During a party meeting, it was reported that Palaniswami said that Dinakaran's appointment was against party rules. A defiant Dinakaran later retorted and said that the party was still under his control and his appointment was valid as party general secretary (Sasikala) could name office-bearers to such posts.
Team OPS has consistently demanded AIADMK must complete the formalities for removal of Sasikala and her family members from the party for ther merger to take place.
Over the last few weeks, the thaw between the two rival factions seems to be melting with both Panneerselvam and Palaniswami reportedly meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussing the possibility of a merger.
Independence Day was earlier believed to the deadline for a merger between the OPS and EPS factions, but talks on chief minister and party general secretary's post remained inconclusive.
But, according to political observers, the merger is most likely to happen soon. Dinakaran, at a recent rally in Madurai, called Sasikala the "sacrifice queen" and insisted that it was the Mannargudi family that chose Panneerselvam and later Palaniswami to lead Tamil Nadu.
Team EPS has reportedly assured the Centre that a merger would happen and a grand rally would be organised to celebrate the merger along with MGR's centenary year.