AIADMK merger: Sasikala, Dinkaran ousted by 20 ministers in major win for Panneerselvam

Just when a patch-up between the rival AIADMK factions seemed unlikely, Tamil Nadu minister D Jayakumar announced late Tuesday night that 20 ministers have decided to oust party general secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran, the deputy general secretary.

FP Politics April 18, 2017 22:35:06 IST
AIADMK merger: Sasikala, Dinkaran ousted by 20 ministers in major win for Panneerselvam

Just when a patch-up between the two AIADMK factions seemed unlikely, Tamil Nadu minister D Jayakumar announced late Tuesday night that 20 ministers have decided to oust party general secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran, the deputy general secretary, from the party.

AIADMK merger Sasikala Dinkaran ousted by 20 ministers in major win for Panneerselvam

O Panneerselvam. PTI

Jayakumar said, "We have decided to delink Dinakaran and his family from the party, a committee will run the party."

He further informed that the decision to oust Sasikala and family was "unanimous" and based on the views of all ministers, including chief Minister, MLAs, MPs and the public, reported PTI.

"A panel will be formed for the day-to-day functioning of AIADMK," the Tamil Nadu minister announced after a meeting that was held at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami's residence.

Earlier on Tuesday, any reconciliation between the two camps had hit a hurdle with former Tamil Nadu chief minister and leader of the rebel camp, O Panneerselvam making talks conditional to the ouster of Sasikala and Dinakaran, a demand that EK Palaniswami camp (also Sasikala loyalists) had rejected outright.

Panneerselvam had made it clear that his group's "basic principle" of keeping the party and the government free from the "clutches" of a single family cannot be compromised. His assertion had come after late last night confabulations, including the one attended by several senior Tamil Nadu ministers, after which they appeared inclined to end the face-off with the Panneerselvam camp. But, it seems Panneerselvam's demand has thrived.

His assertion had come on Tuesday after late Monday night confabulations, including the one attended by several senior Tamil Nadu ministers, after which they appeared inclined to end the face-off with the Panneerselvam camp. But, it seems Panneerselvam's demand has thrived.

An otherwise unassuming Panneerselvam had revolted against AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala in February last, alleging that she forced him to resign as chief minister following party supremo J Jayalalithaa's death last December.

"Our founder MGR (MG Ramachandran) and Amma (Jayalalithaa) created this party as one for the people and the cadre. This is a democratic organisation. If we don't follow this path, it shall be an injustice to the people," he had said.

He also said that MGR never involved his brother in party affairs when he founded the AIADMK and then ruled Tamil Nadu for a decade until his death in December 1987 and Jayalalithaa admitted only Sasikala into the party and none of the latter's family.

It was Panneerselvam who had first sent out signals of a possible rapprochement between the rival factions, a move which was promptly welcomed by the Sasikala camp followers. However, the former Tamil Nadu chief minister and Jayalalithaa loyalist had made it clear that no merger was possible unless Sasikala and her nephew Dinakaran were ousted from the party.

The OPS camp also reportedly wants him (Pannerselvam) to be made both the AIADMK general secretary and chief minister, with Palaniswami as his deputy. However, the EPS camp had earlier rejected these demands.

The new developments have made it clear that the Mannagudi mafia may finally be out of the government. To read more about how the recent turn of events transpired, follow our blog here. You can also read an account of the political drama in Tamil Nadu before the merger was announced here.

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