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AIADMK crisis: Merger almost finalised, say reports and Panneerselvam might be back as chief minister

The merger of the two factions of the AIADMK seems to be almost complete now as reports are saying that the factions have finally agreed upon a deal in which former chief minister O Panneerselvam will be reinstated as chief minister.

Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. PTI

Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. PTI

"The merger deal has been sealed and formal talks will begin now between the senior leaders of both factions to finalise and announce the decision. Palaniswamy will step down for Panneerselvam, and become the party chief. Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, whose properties were raided by Income Tax officials, may be dropped from the cabinet. Former minister and MLA Senthil Balaji may be inducted along with one or two more faces from southern Tamil Nadu,” The Indian Express quoted a senior AIADMK leader as saying.

The report further said that according to sources, the ruling faction decided to give up the post of chief minister because of the "vulnerable state of the government".

Meanwhile, AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dinakaran has left for Delhi to appear before the Crime Branch police in the case of alleged attempt to bribe Election Commission officials, reported The Hindu.

As signs of thaw emerged in the merger move, the factions led by Palaniswamy and the one by Panneerselvam had announced formation of their respective committees to hold discussions. Earlier on Friday, the Palaniswamy camp had constituted its committee led by Vaithilingam (which is likely to include some ministers) to hold talks with the Panneerselvam faction.

The developments came a day after the talks appeared to have hit a roadblock with the Panneerselvam camp seeking formal expulsion of Sasikala and Dinakaran from the party. It had also sought a CBI probe into the circumstances leading to former chief minister Jayalalithaa's death on 5 December last year.

Hardening its stance for talks, the OPS camp had also demanded that 30 members of the Sasiskala family be formally expelled from the party. The Panneerselvam camp had also demanded withdrawal of affidavits submitted to the Election Commission by the Palaniswami faction, declaring Sasikala and Dhinakaran as party General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary, respectively.

Dinakaran has maintained that he had already announced he would stay away from party affairs and that he could be removed only by Sasikala. Sasikala is at present serving a four year jail term in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Apr 22, 2017 14:23 PM

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