AIADMK factions officially announce merger as OPS and EPS join hands; Sasikala's fate still unknown
The expected merger of AIADMK factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam was made official on Monday
The expected merger of AIADMK factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswamy and rebel leader O Panneerselvam was made official on Monday.
— ANI (@ANI) August 21, 2017
Panneerselvam made coordinator, Palaniswamy becomes joint coordinator Former chief minister Paneerselvam was made the coordinator of the merged AIADMK while Palaniswamy will be the joint coordinator, the chief minister announced at a brief function at party headquarters while announcing the merger. As per recent updates, the portfolio of finance will be given to Panneerselvam, and he will be made deputy chief minister. Panneerselvam was sworn in on Monday. Two of his loyalists will also find a place in the Tamil Nadu Cabinet.
According to Palaniswamy, AIADMK's first priority will be to revive the two-leaves symbol:
Sasikala's fate as general secretary Sasikala's removal seems to be on the cards as prior to the merger announcement, the Palaniswami faction was expected to pass a resolution against AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala. Panneerselvam stated that the party would wait for the general body meeting, and would then take a decision on Sasikala:
AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathy, however, said that a total of seven lakh signatures have been collected to retain Sasikala as the general secretary. "We want everybody to be together, we don't know why they are avoiding us," Saraswathy added.
We are happy with the merger but billion dollar question is why are they avoiding us?: CR Saraswathi, TTV Dinakaran-VK Sasikala faction pic.twitter.com/wa1cFita5c
— ANI (@ANI) August 21, 2017
As per AIADMK party bylaws, the general secretary cannot be removed by a resolution passed by a committee or group of office bearers. But party veteran Ponnaiyan said that she will be removed from the post at party's general council meeting on Monday, while also terming her appointment as against the party rules.
"There was no provision for Sasikala's appointment as general secretary because election to that post can be done only by the primary members of the party. The general council, which appointed her, will be convened to remove her from the post," he told reporters.
Future of AIADMK
As per a previous Firspost article, "Palaniswamy reportedly expressed his inability to expel Sasikala since she had been elected as an interim general secretary by a general council in December 2016. At best, Palaniswamy was willing to give a letter stating that the general council would soon meet to take the decision to distance the party from Sasikala."
The article further mentioned that "with a huge trust deficit, OPS was not willing to return home with just an assurance to go by. The question bothering him obviously was, if EPS can ditch the person who made him chief minister, what prevented him from not honouring his word to the Panneerselvam camp".
Panneerselvam might have gotten a chance to be the face of AIADMK as party affairs coordinator, but he will be nowhere as powerful as Jayalalithaa was.
It only remains to be seen as to how long will both factions continue to be part of the merger.
With inputs from agencies
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