AIADMK factions likely to come together before Aug 15

Amid the chaos between the two camps of the AIADMK, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, as the latter might play a role in merging both the camps.

The meeting was chaired by Palaniswami, in which 27 members, including Ministers, MPs and leaders of various wings of the Party, participated and made a decision to shut the doors on Dinakaran and his aunt and Party General Secretary V.K. Sasikala. He was responding to a query from the media on the resolution adoptedby the EPS camp nullifying the announcements made by AIADMK Amma faction deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran.

He said the ruling faction would come to grief, hinting that MLAs owing allegiance to Sasikala could cause problems in a trial of strength in the Tamil Nadu assembly. "It is clear by implication that the affidavits (in support of Sasikala and Dhinakaran) filed by them ( EPS camp) were false and in any case can not be considered by the commission", it said.

While this is a significant step in healing the rift with the breakaway faction led by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS), senior leaders in the breakaway faction described the resolution as a half measure.

Using the IPC section 420 to label the Chief Minister a "cheat", the former Rajya Sabha MP stated, "Misuse of the AIADMK letterhead is forgery and cheating".

In a press conference convened later in the afternoon, Dinakaran scoffed at the decision and said that Sasikala was formally elected as the general secretary by the same set of people and that his appointment was valid because it was done by the general secretary. Dinakaran was the party candidate in the bypoll necessitated by the death of Jayalalithaa.

Panneerselvam is also trying for an appointment with Modi, sources in New Delhi said.

Still, Team EPS has assured the Centre that the merger would occur somehow within 10 days and a grand rally will be organised which would celebrate the merger along with MGR's centenary year. They have so much at stake that requires political protection and letting it go will be suicidal.

With no other options left, the BJP is giving one last push to the merger of AIADMK factions, hoping to keep the EPS and OPS flocks together. "But how long will they survive? Anyway, this is not going to help the party or the government", the MLA said.

  • Jon Douglas