Tamil Nadu: AIADMK factions meet for merger talks. Sasikala, nephew Dinakaran to be kicked out?

There is revolt in the making in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's  (AIADMK) VK Sasikala camp as leaders of the faction want her and nephew TTV Dinakaran to step down from all party posts. Nearly 25 ministers and MLAs held a late night meeting on Monday to discuss possiblity of a merger with rival O Pannerselvam camp. Whether the two camps would bury their differences and come together could be decided today.  

TTV Dinakaran, who was appointed AIADMK's deputy general secretary by Sasikala just hours before she surrendered before a Bengaluru court, was in Bengaluru to meet Sasikala but returned to Chennai early today without meeting his aunt.

LATE NIGHT DRAMA IN CHENNAI

  1. Finance Minister D Jayakumar said modalities were being worked out to pave the way for the merger of the two factions. "Given the opinion (voiced by O Panneerselvam), modalities to strengthen the party and to run it with unity were discussed," Jayakumar told reporters, briefing them about the meeting which was attended by most of the ministers of E K Palaniswami government.
  2. Jayakumar said the aim was to get back AIADMK's 'two leaves' symbol, which was frozen by the Election Commission as both the warring factions claimed a right over it.
  3. On Panneerselvam's stand that Sasikala's family should not be a part of the party, Jayakumar evaded a direct answer and said, "The decision of the last party cadre is the decision of the party and all of us."
  4. According to sources, both the factions are working out a formula under which O Panneerselvam would return as AIADMK's general secretary replacing Sasikala. Edappadi Palaniswami will remain the chief minister.
  5. The minister said no decision was taken on Sasikala and Dinakaran but insiders said party leaders were unhappy at the way the 'Mannargudi family' has captured the party and want the members of the notorious family out from AIADMK.
  6. Party leaders believe that corruption charges against Dinakaran has hurt AIADMK's image.
  7. Dinakaran was booked by the Delhi Police on Monday (April 17) for trying to bribe Election Commission officials through a middleman to buy the two leaves symbol.
  8. Dinakaran, however, rubbished the charges against him. "I haven't bribed anyone. How can I do all this? I will face it legally if I get a summons," he said.
  9. There was reportedly unease in Tamil Nadu's ruling party ever since Income Tax officials raided Health Minister Vijayabaskar's premises and seized evidence of bribing voters for the bypoll to R K Nagar assembly seat.
  10. The election, scheduled for April 12, was countermanded by the Election Commission on April 9 amid allegations of rampant inducement and bribing of voters.