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AIADMK merger: VK Sasikala banners removed from party headquarters in Chennai

Banners with images of VK Sasikala, general secretary of the AIADMK (Amma) faction, were removed from party headquarters in Chennai on Wednesday, reports have said. According to The Times of India, this comes after presiding chairman of the O Panneerselvam faction, E Madhusudanan, on Tuesday said that the banners should be removed to "uphold the sanctity" of the party headquarters.

The Panneerselvam camp welcomed the move, saying it was a "positive step." "This is definitely a positive step," 'Aspire' K Swaminathan, media coordinator of the Panneerselvam led AIADMK
(Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) told PTI. He also said the move came in "continuance" to Madhusudanan's appeal and said, "We are happy the cadres have decided to remove the banners." Panneerselvam had yesterday said that a "conducive" atmosphere was evolving in both camps for talks.

The decision to remove the banners comes at a time when Delhi Crime Branch arrested TTV Dinakaran on Tuesday in a case about bribing Election Commission, which puts the ruling AIADMK in trouble.

Banners with VK Sasikala being removed in Chennai.

Banners with VK Sasikala being removed in Chennai.

Earlier, a senior leader in former chief minister Panneerselvam's camp, KP Munusamy, said the rival camp now led by chief minister E Palaniswamy must secure the resignation of jailed Sasikala and her nephew Dinakaran from their party posts. Both of them should also be dismissed from the AIADMK, he told the media.

The Panneerselvam camp on 20 April discussed the developments in the ruling AIADMK, which has decided to sideline Sasikala and Dinakaran and let a panel of leaders run the party. Munusamy also asked the ruling AIADMK faction to withdraw the affidavit filed with the Election Commission naming Sasikala as General Secretary and Dinakaran as Deputy General Secretary.

The Panneerselvam faction also urged the state government to send a formal request for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the death of then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

He also said that after the two factions decide to merge, many MLAs would want Panneerselvam to be the chief minister while the party cadres would demand that he also be the AIADMK General Secretary.

O Panneerselvam's camp called this a positive step.

O Panneerselvam's camp called this a positive step.

Jayalalithaa died on 5 December after a prolonged illness, leading to developments that broke up the AIADMK into two factions. One faction was led by Sasikala and the other by Panneerselvam. After Sasikala took charge of the AIADMK, she forced Panneerselvam to quit, who finally revolted against her.

The Panneerselvam side of the party in the merger talks had 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 Palaniswamy faction, declaring Sasikala and Dinakaran as party general secretary and deputy general secretary, respectively.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Apr 26, 2017 12:38 PM

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