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AIADMK merger highlights: As Panneerselvam toughens stance, Dinakaran puts up a brave face

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AIADMK merger highlights: As Panneerselvam toughens stance, Dinakaran puts up a brave face
  • 15:51 (IST)

    Panneerselvam camp calls the shots on merger

    KP Muniswamy from the Panneerselvam camp says they never asked for the post of the CM of the party general secretary. “We never went into this assuming we were heading for elections. But if there are elections, Panneerselvam will definitely win.”

    “We are demanding the resignations of TTV Dinakaran and Sasikala. If these conditions are met, we will immediately start talks,” says Muniswamy.


  • 14:41 (IST)

    AIADMK leaders meet TN Governor

    Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and AIADMK leader M. Thambidurai called on Tamil Nadu Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao in Chennai on Thursday.

    ​Thambidurai later told reporters that it was a courtesy call as he has known Rao for a long time. He said he did not discuss the political situation in the state with Rao.

    Tamil Nadu Finance and Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar also met Rao. Jayakumar said: "The meeting was in connection with the selection of Vice Chancellor of a university."

    The meetings come amid efforts within the divided ruling AIADMK to merge. 


  • 14:23 (IST)

    What toned down TTV Dinakaran?

    The past few days have been all about set-backs for TTV Dinakaran, who until recently enjoyed a powerful status in the ruling party in Tamil Nadu.

    The leader, whose extended family is notoriously called the Mannargudi mafia and is arguably the most influential clan in the southern Indian state, has been having a tough time staying afloat amid legal troubles and a rebelling party.

    First, the poll panel repealed the RK Nagar assembly polls as he drew flak for allegedly trying to bribe the voters. Next came the EC bribery case, which essentially triggered a domino effect. An influential faction, led by the chief minister, within his party rebelled against him. And on top of that, an ED court has framed charges against him in a financial irregularity case against him, lodged some 20 years ago.

    An alienated, cowed down Dinakaran, however said that he had distanced himself from the party for the betterment of the organization, while he vowed to fight all charges against him legally. He also expressed some doubts about the circumstances under which his party members had rebelled against him.

  • 13:28 (IST)

    M Thambidurai calls on TN governor amid hectic political governments

    Senior AIADMK leader and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai today met Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao. However, AIADMK sources remained tight light over the agenda behind the meeting. 

    However, according to CNN-News 18, Thambidurai has termed it a courtesy call, adding "No politics to be read into this. I have already said the CM will continue. He is an elected man.”

  • 13:06 (IST)

    Dinakaran asked to appear before Delhi Police on Saturday

    AIADMK deputy chief Dinakaran has been asked to appear before the Crime Branch of Delhi Police on Saturday in a case of alleged bribery to EC officials for retrieving the party's 'two leaves' symbol. The Delhi Police had last night served summons to him in the case.


  • 12:58 (IST)

    Take a look at AIADMK Twitter timeline

  • 12:48 (IST)

    Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswamy removes red beacon from car

    But here's a question: Will he be as willing to relinquish the power it represents for the sake of AIADMK merger?

  • 12:40 (IST)

    As OPS, EPS, Dinakaran camps decide on merger plans, this is how media keeps itself busy

    Thursday is a rather slow day as far as developments from Tamil Nadu capital was concerned. All the three camps — O Panneerselvam, E Palaniswamy, TTV Dinakaran — remained mum on the future of AIADMK merger. 

    However, this one man, clearly an MGR fan, kept the media occupied outside OPS' residence in Chennai. 

  • 12:05 (IST)

    RECAP: No opposition for me in AIADMK, says Dinakaran

    Beleaguered leader TTV Dinakaran on Wednesday said none in the party were against him, asserting that all party MLAs stood behind him.

    "There is no opposition to me in the party," he said, breaking his silence since influential section of Ministers revolted against him last night and decided to keep General Secretary V K Sasikala and him out of the party. According to 'Jaya Plus' Tamil TV channel, Dinakaran said a "good decision" will be taken in the interest of the party. 

    Party sources indicated that he was expected to appear at the Economic Offences court here later in the day on a case against him for alleged violation of FERA regulations.

  • 11:57 (IST)

    Dinakaran questions Delhi Police's lookout notice

    TTV Dinakaran questioned the need for the lookout notice issued by the Delhi Police in a bribery case, saying as his passport "is in court" for 20 years how could he flee the country. "My passport is in court for 20 years. How can I escape from India," he told reporters. 

    He was apparently referring to the pending FERA cases against him in a court here in connection with which he has surrendered his passport. 

  • 11:38 (IST)

    AIADMK leader, Thambidurai meets Tamil Nadu governor

    Political commentator TS Sudhir has told Firstpost that a meeting is underway between senior AIADMK leader M Thambidurai and theTamil Nadu governor C Vidyasagar Rao. Thambidurai had sided with the Sasikala camp at the time of the rift between the two factions and has been batting for E Palaniswamy to continue as the state's chief minister despite the merger talks. 

    More details on this to follow shortly.

  • 11:28 (IST)

    TTV Dinakaran skips court appearance in FERA case, given 24 April deadline

    Dinakaran, who was scheduled appear for the hearing of a financial irregularities case in court today, did not turn up for the hearing. The court has given a 24th April deadline to Sasikala's nephew, according to India Today TV.

  • 11:10 (IST)

    Meanwhile outside Panneerselvam's residence...

  • 11:07 (IST)

    Mannargudi Mafia is down but not out in Tamil Nadu

    Mannargudi is a small town in Tiruvarur district in the Cauvery delta where Sasikala hails from.

    The ‘Mannargudi mafia’ is alleged to have spread out across the government machinery into important positions taking advantage of Sasikala’s proximity to Jayalalithaa. While Panneerselvam’s deft political maneouvre may have trumped Sasikala in power circles, she very much retains control, if only by proxy, on her family’s powerful nexus.

  • 10:43 (IST)

    Does merger of AIADMK spells end of rode for Sasikala?

    "With Sasikala finding it tough to operate her faction from prison, notwithstanding her nephew Dinakaran, her supremacy is slipping away quickly. What will hasten this slide, perhaps irreversibly, will be Dinakaran’s actual arrest by the Delhi Police. In that event, the Sasikala camp will have an additional headache: Of extracting Dinakaran from this mess – or sacrificing him – and managing the fracas within the party.

    How the entire saga will actually unfold remains to be seen, but Panneerselvam has clearly achieved the upper hand in light of his other demand, which is far more intrepid: He wants to replace Palaniswamy as the chief minister, while demoting him to deputy chief minister."

    (Read the full article here)

  • 10:30 (IST)

    OPS camp MLAs, MPS to huddle up at Panneerselvam,'s residence today, likely to finalise merger strategy: India Today

  • 10:14 (IST)

    With Mannargudi clan out of their way, OPS camp puts forth fresh demands for AIADMK merger

    If everyone thought the expulsion of the Sasikala-Dinakaran duo would pave the way for an easy merger, it won't come as a surprise if talks between the two factions get stuck on who gets what.

    According to Times Now, the OPS camp has put forth three new points as to negotiate for power in the AIADMK post the merger.

    • Chief ministerial post for OPS
    • AIADMK general secretary to be from the OPS camp
    • Major OPS loyalists to be accommodated in the Cabinet

  • 09:19 (IST)

    Is BJP influencing AIADMK to get rid of Sasikala, Dinakaran?

    While it appeared that Palaniswami had blinked first, there was more than what met the eye. By sidelining the aunt and the nephew, the EPS group was washing away the Chinnamma taint that they had acquired by staying on for one week at the Golden Bay Resort in February, backing Sasikala.

    The suspicion is that by sacking the duo, Palaniswami is trying to endear himself to the powers-that-be in Delhi. It is not just the Dinakaran camp that has accused the BJP of playing a part in the internal affairs of the AIADMK. Many observers also feel that the invisible pressure from the Centre is what is moving many pieces on the political chessboard in Chennai. It is logical for EPS campers to believe that in the post-Sasikala era, they can be on the right side of the BJP, replacing Panneerselvam.

    (Read the whole article here)

  • 09:07 (IST)

    Party worker attempts self-immolation protesting police action against Dinakaran

    A party worker tried to allegedly set himself ablaze to show his opposition to the police. The self-immolation bid was thwarted by other cadres and some plainclothesmen.

  • 09:05 (IST)

    Delhi Police serves summons to Dinakaran

    Delhi Police officials at midnight on Wednesday served summons to TTV Dinakaran in a case of alleged bribery to EC officials for  retrieving the party's two leaves symbol.

    Dinakaran had, soon after the arrest of Sukesh Chandrasekhar asserted that he will face the matter legally. He had denied any knowledge of Chandrasekhar.

  • 08:56 (IST)

    Amid trouble over EC bribery case, ED tightens noose on Dinakaran in another FERA violations case

    An economic offences court on Sunday framed charges against AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran in a FERA violation case as the Madras High Court on Wednesday refused  to quash it along with another similar case.

    With the framing of charges by the court, Dinakaran now stands formally indicted in the Dipper investment case in which he has been accused by the Enforcement Directorate of transferring $ One crore  illegally. A court frames charges against an accused after it finds sufficient prima facie evidence against  him to put him on formal trial in the case.

    The economic offences court is likely to frame charges against him in the second FERA case pertaining to Barclay's Bank, where Dhinakaran has been charged with transferring 37 lakh Pounds illegally.

  • 08:45 (IST)

    Rebellion against me out of fear: Dinakaran

    Seeking to avoid any confrontation, Dinakaran said he had "stepped aside" last night itself "in the interest of the party". He said that he had no issues with the rival camps merging together.

    He, however, claimed the rebellion against him was out of "fear". "They (ministers) might have done this (revolt) due to some fear. Maybe there was some dissatisfaction against me. But I don't know," he told reporters.

    He was apparently referring to the possible angst in the party following income tax raids at Health Minister C Vijayabaskar's premises ahead of the assembly bypoll to the RK Nagar seat which was countermanded following allegations of bribing and inducement of voters. Dinakaran was the party's nominee for the election.


  • 14:34 (IST)

    Sasikala, Dinakaran ouster first victory: Panneerselvam 

    Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday said the ouster of the rival AIADMK faction's two leaders was his faction's first victory in the "dharma yudh". He was referring to the ruling AIADMK faction's decision to sideline now jailed general secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew and deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran.

  • 14:10 (IST)

  • 14:00 (IST)

    Dinakaran will consult Sasikala before quitting party post 

    On quitting the AIADMK party post, TTV Dinakaran said he was appointed by the general secretary (Sasikala), and he has to consult her before taking the final decision. He also indicated Sasikala was not apprised of the developments. "How can someone inside the jail be informed," he asked. 

    Dinakaran also said he had no problems with a possible merger of the factions now headed by Chief Minister K Palaniswamy and his predecessor O Panneerselvam.

    When asked if he was being "targeted" by way of Income Tax raids on Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and countermanding of the 12 April RK Nagar bypoll, he said "may be." 

    "They can maximum put me behind bars. If that is my destiny, I will face it and come out," he added.


  • 13:33 (IST)

    MLAs meet not a show of strength: Dinakaran

    Deputy general secretary of AIADMK TTV Dinakaran struck a conciliatory note, saying he had no problem with the merger of rival party factions and felt that the rebellion against him was due to some "fear".

    He also said he has "stepped aside" last night itself in the interest of the party and made it clear that the MLAs meet called by him was not a show of strength.

    "They might have done this (revolt) due to some fear. May be there was some dissatisfaction against me. But I don't know," he told reporters. 

    VK Sasikala's nephew added that the MLAs' meeting called by him later today should not be seen as a show of strength. "All MLAs have been asked to come. It is not a show of strength," he said.


  • 13:01 (IST)

    EPS wants to continue as chief minister

    Firstpost has learnt that E Palaniswamy wants to continue as chief minister and is ready to give the post of AIADMK general secretary to O Panneerselvam. Negotiations are currently on.

  • 12:49 (IST)

    Stalin says he met Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker and demanded an immediate session

    "Today, Tamil Nadu farmers are suffering. They are protesting in Delhi, so we want to convene an assembly session to discuss the issue," ANI quoted him as saying.

  • 12:33 (IST)

    Dinakaran says he has no problem with the possible merger of AIADMK factions if it benefits the party — PTI

  • 12:30 (IST)

    Meeting in AIADMK office called by Dinakaran cancelled

    The 3 pm meeting called by Dinakaran has been cancelled.

  • 12:14 (IST)

  • 12:14 (IST)

    Dinakaran says he will never be the reason for a split in AIADMK

    "I will never be the reason for a split in the party," said Dinakaran, as the war of words between the AIADMK factions continued.

    "This is our party. Maybe some people have some fears or issues. I wish they came and spoke to me," he said. "I will speak to them and allay their fears," he added.

    "I'm dedicated to the party and will express this to those who want to send me out," he also said.

  • 12:08 (IST)

    Sasikala had taken over after Amma's death: Panneerselvam

    "(Panneerselvam's) meeting (with MLAs) was not show of strength," O Panneerselvam said as he addressed reporters.

    "We will act according to the people's wishes," he said. "Sasikala's family had taken over after Amma's death."

    "The removal of Sasikala's family is our victory in this dharma yuddhan. The reason for our struggle is going well," Panneerselvam further said.

  • 11:51 (IST)

    I stepped aside in the interest of the party: Dinakaran

    "I have stepped aside in the interest of party so question of resigning doesn't arise," PTI quoted Dinakaran as saying.

    "The revolt against me could have been due to some fears," he further said. "We will have to consult Sasikala on resigning as she appointed me as Deputy General Secretary."

  • 11:29 (IST)

    Dinakaran loyalist leader directly blames BJP

    "We will stick by TTV Dinakaran. We will explain our position as far as numbers go by 3 pm today," said AIADMK leader Nanjil Sampath. "BJP is behind this conspiracy," said Sampath, who is known to be a Dinakaran loyalist.

    It is significant that BJP is being blamed by AIADMK directly.

  • 11:17 (IST)

    Delhi Police issues lookout notice against Dinakaran

    Delhi Police has issued a lookout notice against AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, accused of bribing an EC official to get the coveted 'two-leaves' symbol for his faction.

    The action comes in the wake of inputs that Dhinakaran was an NRI and could try to flee, police said.

    Praveer Ranjan, Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) confirmed that the lookout notice has been issued and said that it was a preventive action.

    Immigration officials have been alerted, police said. — PTI

  • 11:09 (IST)

    OPS camp in a huddle

    The OPS camp has gone into a huddle, according to TS Sudhir. The faction feels that there is more to this issue than what meets the eye.

  • 11:03 (IST)

  • 10:57 (IST)

    According to sources from the party headquarters the venue for MLAs meeting is not yet finalised except for the time of the meeting which is scheduled at 3 pm on Tuesday.

  • 10:49 (IST)

    Dinakaran's MLA numbers dwindling, 3 pm meeting comes under jeopardy

    TTV Dinakaran puts up a brave front by saying all his MLAs are with him but it is clear his numbers are dwindling. Only 8 MLAs are on his side. And even the 3 pm AIADMK MLA meeting he has convened could be in jeopardy as finance minister D Jayakumar has said only party secretary E Palaniswamy can convene such a meeting.

  • 10:39 (IST)

    Dinakaran might meet Sasikala?

    Dinakaran, who is the nephew of former party general secretary VK Sasikala, was also supposed to meet his aunt who is lodged in a Bengaluru jail following her conviction in a disproportionate assets case. The meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, didn't take place, according to a report in Economic Times, and there are chances that the duo might meet on Wednesday to try and work out a solution.

  • 10:27 (IST)

    Unless there's extreme instability, Centre will not interfere: Naidu

    Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the Centre wanted a stable government in Tamil Nadu and neither it nor the BJP had any role in the present "internal instability" in the ruling AIADMK in that state. "The BJP or the Centre has no role in the internal instability in the AIADMK. The Centre does not interfere in the affairs of the states. We want a stable government in Tamil Nadu for the sake of development," the Union Urban Development Minister told reporters.

    "The people there (Tamil Nadu) had voted for Amma (Jayalalithaa) but unfortunately, she is no more. The party (AIADMK) should resolve its differences for the sake of the people," he said. Refuting the allegation levelled by the opposition that the BJP-led NDA at the Centre was meddling with the affairs of the states, Naidu asserted that the union government did not interfere "unless in an extreme case scenario".

    "The opposition has developed a habit of blaming everything on the Centre. Any incident that may happen in any remote corner of the country, the opposition blames it on the Centre. But it must be remembered that law-and-order is a state matter and the Centre does not interfere in it," he said on the sidelines of a meeting here.

    "The Centre will not interfere unless in an extreme case," said Naidu, who was here to review the implementation of schemes in the eight north-eastern states under his ministries -- information and broadcasting, urban development and housing and urban poverty alleviation.

  • 10:20 (IST)

    Media throngs OPS Chennai home as Delhi police issues lookout notice against Dinakaran

    Within minutes after news broke that a lookout notice was issued against Dinakaran by the Delhi police, media gathered outside the residence of the former chief minister which was earlier deserted. 

    Image courtesy: Ben Raja.

  • 10:12 (IST)

    Gates have been opened for OPS: D Jayakumar

    Tamil Nadu finance minister speaks to CNN-News18 and says that the gates have been thrown open to O Panneerselvam. "120 MLAs and all district heads are with us. Only Edappadi Palaniswamy as the general secretary can decide on party affairs. Despite whatever the rival factions might claim, all 120 MLAs and district heads are with us. We will rule as per Amma and MGR's guidelines," D Jayakumar told News18. 

  • 09:54 (IST)

    After being mum on Dinakaran, Sasikala ouster, Thambiduria now says rival AIADMK factions should merge

    Mooting a patch-up with the rival AIADMK group led by O Panneerselvam, senior AIADMK leader and deputy speaker in Lok Sabha M Thambidurai said it will be in the party's interest if both factions merge to take forward the legacy of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha. "We have to take Amma (J Jayalalithaa)'s legacy forward," Thambidurai said. 

    Ruling out any change of Chief Minister in the state for this possible patch up, Thambidurai said people from the opposing faction may be included in the organisation. However, Thambidurai, who had maintained a stoic silence on the ouster of Dinakaran and aunt Sasikala from the party, the senior leader later on Monday said that if Dinakaran interfered in tge party, "we will not like it." "There is no weakness in the party. We are all united. I am just an ordinary worker of the party but I know that 50 percent vote bank is with us. There is no doubt about it. If Dinakaran can garner support from the party members then he can run the party and we all will cooperate," Thambidurai said.

  • 09:41 (IST)

    RECAP From Yesterday

    - On the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, Tamil Nadu finance minister, J Jayakumar and eight other ministers from the EPS camp held an impromptu meeting.
    - After the meeting, J Jayakumar said that the group had discussed the party's election symbol issue and O Panneerselvam's suggestion at merger
    - Dinakaran, who had been missing, turns up at his Chennai home. Holds meet with his legal team

  • 09:35 (IST)

    20 ministers behind the ouster of Sasikala and Dinakaran

    A senior Tamil Nadu minister claimed that twenty ministers within the government had ousted VK Sasikala and her family from the AIADMK 'unanimously.' AIADMK leader and an O Panneerselvam loyalist C Ponnaiyan told CNN-News18 that his camp (OPS) believed in a merger in total. "We want the general council to vote Sasikala out," he said.

    Over the past few days, rumours were rife that the two factions - EPS camp and OPS camp - could iron out differences and merge to form a united AIADMK once again.

  • 09:28 (IST)

    The BJP's Tamil Nadu strategy depends on Dinakaran drama

    The BJP is desperate to see a merger between the factions of Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy of AIADMK (Amma) and former chief minister O Panneerselvam of AIADMK (Puratchi Thalavi Amma), the latter backed by Sasikala and her nephew Dinakaran.

    The BJP was wooing the united AIADMK led by Jayalalithaa for nearly ten years till her death in December 2016. After supporting the NDA and famously backing out in 1998, she was in and out of alliances with the BJP, Congress and Third Front, but remained non-aligned since the 2014 elections. The BJP warmed up to her even more after Modi became prime minister in 2014 and after her death in December 2016, cosied up to her friend Sasikala who seemed like her heiress-obvious. Read the full story here

  • 09:27 (IST)

    Wider cracks appear in AIADMK after Sasikala, Dinakaran get kicked out

    Hours after AIADMK leader and finace minister of Tamil Nadu D Jayakumar announced that VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran were decided to be 'delinked' from the party, several MLAs and Dinakaran supporters rallied behind him and denounced the former's statement. 

    "Former chief minister O Panneerselvam, while going to Madurai, had said that he was ready for the merger without any conditions, which was acceptable to us. But when he imposed the condition today, we decided not to consider this. We will never accept this condition. Because it was TTV Dinakaran, who gave a new direction to the AIADMK," party leader Nanzhil Sampath was quoted as saying by ANI.

    Panneerselvam had put forth a condition that merger between the two factions would take place only if Sasikala and Dinakaran were ousted from the party.

  • 09:11 (IST)

    Lookout notice issued against Dinakaran

    A lookout notice has been issued against TTV Dinakaran, sources told media on Tuesday. According to reports, police fears that ousted former deputy general secretary of AIADMK (Amma) may try and flee the country. 

Isolated in his party, AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran (also spelt as Dhinakaran) on Wednesday threw in the towel and "stepped aside" to pave the way for a merger of rival factions led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam.

Dinakaran, the nephew of jailed AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala, is facing a revolt by an influential section of the party led by Palaniswami and a host of ministers, who had last night declared the ouster of the once powerful aunt-nephew duo, and extended a hand of friendship to the Panneerselvam camp.

Dinakaran, who had earlier in the day convened a meeting of the MLAs backing him, chickened out at the last moment, and called it off, apparently outnumbered by those arrayed against him.

File image of TTV Dinakaran. Twitter @TTVDhinakaran

File image of TTV Dinakaran. Twitter @TTVDhinakaran

Senior ministers including D Jayakumar and KA Sengottaiyan, who chairs the AIADMK presidium and had hitherto sided with Dinakaran, had questioned the beleaguered leader's locus standi to convene a meeting of legislators and the party's district secretaries.

Seeking to avoid any confrontation, Dinakaran said he had "stepped aside" last night itself "in the interest of the party".

"I myself would have announced it (of keeping away from the party) if they had told me about their decision," he said, referring to last night's revolt.

Dinakaran, who is facing trouble on multiple fronts, including from the Delhi police which has booked him for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official to clinch the 'two-leaves' symbol of the party, frozen by the poll panel, for his faction, also said he had no issues with the rival camps merging together.

He, however, claimed the rebellion against him was out of "fear". "They (ministers) might have done this (revolt) due to some fear. Maybe there was some dissatisfaction against me. But I don't know," he told reporters. He was apparently referring to the possible angst in the party following income tax raids at Health Minister C Vijayabaskar's premises ahead of the assembly bypoll to the RK Nagar seat which was countermanded following allegations of bribing and inducement of voters. Dinakaran was the party's nominee for the election.

"I wonder what the apprehension is about. When they make such sudden announcement there must be some fear," he said, adding, the revolt was a decision made in a "hurry".

Dinakaran, however, made it clear that since it was Sasikala who had appointed him to the post, he would decide on the next course of action only after meeting her. He wondered why there was the question of his resignation when he had already "stepped aside".

Meanwhile, Panneerselvam, a staunch loyalist of the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, described the revolt against the Sasikala family as the "first success" of his "dharma yuddh" (holy war).

Panneerselvam said he had launched the "dharma yuddh" with the help of his supporters, including MPs and MLAs, in an effort to ensure that the AIADMK did not go into hands of Sasikala's family.

Panneerselvam had filled-in for Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister thrice in the past, twice when she had to go to jail in corruption cases and once when she was on her death bed. He had claimed he was coerced to step down by Sasikala after Jayalalithaa's death.

Though the Palaniswami and Panneerselvam camps have shown inclination for the merger of the two factions, there have not been any direct talks between them so far.

Dinakaran, against whom the Delhi police has issued a lookout notice for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official, said he had no intention to fight with people who are like his "brothers." "I will never go against the AIADMK," he said.

He, however, insisted the appointment of Sasikala and himself to the top party posts was made with the "consent" of others and that none was "bypassed". He indicated Sasikala has not yet been apprised of the developments. "How can someone inside the jail be informed," he asked.

When asked if he was being "targeted" by way of Income Tax raids on Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and countermanding of the April 12 RK Nagar bypoll, he responded with a terse "maybe."

Putting up a brave face, he said he will tackle the situation. "They can maximum put me behind bars. If that is my destiny, I will face it and come out," he added.

A powerful section of the ruling AIADMK (Amma) had last night risen in revolt against Sasikala-Dinakaran leadership, and said they had resolved to "delink" the party and the government from them.

The surprise development had come on a day when Panneerselvam made the merger talks between the two camps contingent upon the ruling AIADMK faction ejecting Sasikala and Dinakaran, who is standing-in for his jailed aunt.

Updated Date: Apr 20, 2017 16:24 PM

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