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AIADMK merger: Dinakaran removed, EPS faction adopts resolution against Sasikala

11 August 2017

In what is being seen as the process of removing the Sasikala clan from the party, the AIADMK (Amma) faction led by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami declared on Thursday that TTV Dinakaran, the deputy general secretary of the party, is not authorised to make any appointment and his decisions were not binding on the party.

A resolution signed by 26 office bearers of the AIADMK, including Palanisamy, asked party cadre to ignore appointments made by Dhinakaran, who they accused of creating confusion in the party.

In a jolt to Sasikala, a meeting presided over by Chief Minister K Palaniswami today said the appointment of Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary was against party rules as he openly questioned their authority. The merger talks were fast-tracked as Dinakaran tried to assert his position with a series of appointments.

A Tamil Nadu BJP official told Scroll.in that the two factions had been told that the AIADMK could join the Centre only if it came together as one.

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Interestingly, both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam are leaving for New Delhi late on Thursday to take part in the swearing-in ceremony of Vice-President-elect M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday. Her camp then moved party MLAs to a resort ahead of a crucial trust vote. But he was appointed as deputy general secretary.

During December 2016, after the former minister J Jayalalitha's unexpected, suspicious death, her long time aide VK Sasikala took over the governance of the AIADMK. "I can appoint or take disciplinary action against not only EPS (the CM) but also against those who indulge in anti-party activities", he said, vowing to continue his party work by undertaking a state-wide tour on August 14 and steer the party towards a resounding victory in the 2019 Parliament elections.

Former chief minister Panneerselvam had last week said that the leaders in the rival camp were "only making comments" on the unification, but not making much effort. It is understood that the BJP was nudging both the factions to unite and even consider the prospects of joining the NDA formally. The resolution also indirectly referred to Panneerselvam's petition before the Election Commission that she was not qualified to be general secretary - because she was also not a member of the party for five successive years on the date she was elected to the post. The EPS faction felt the appointments were to confuse the ranks.

AIADMK merger: Dinakaran removed, EPS faction adopts resolution against Sasikala