live

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

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

FP Staff April 20, 2017 15:52:45 IST
Auto refresh feeds
AIADMK merger highlights: As Panneerselvam toughens stance, Dinakaran puts up a brave face

Highlights

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

18:19 (ist)

BJP's TN 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 TTV Dinakaran.

The BJP was wooing the united AIADMK led by Jayalalithaa for nearly 10 years till her death in December 2016. After supporting the NDA and famously backing out in 1998, she was in and out of the alliances of BJP, Congress and Third Front, but remained non-aligned since the 2014 election. The BJP warmed up to her even more after Narendra Modi became the prime minister in 2014 and, after her death in December 2016, cosied up to her friend Sasikala who seemed like her heiress-obvious.

The realisation that the popularity of scam-tainted Sasikala, who is now in a Bengaluru jail, was limited to some two dozen legislators and didn't extend to people at large, followed by a split in the AIADMK, was an obvious cause of worry for the BJP. Then came the I-T raids on 7 April on a minister close to Dinakaran, which allegedly proved that he had distributed Rs 89 crore to voters in the run-up to the RK Nagar by-election, rescinded later. The Delhi Police case against him on Monday added a new twist: He was accused of attempting to bribe the Election Commission to get the united AIADMK's seized two-leaves symbol for his faction. 

A reunited AIADMK, minus Sasikala and her family, would be ethically and electorally an ideal entity for the BJP to align with. And it would be naive to believe that the BJP is a mere spectator in his drama-it's a catalyst from outside, if not an agent provocateur from inside. 

13:21 (ist)

Is this all part of a BJP script?

In roughly two months since he fired the first shot against VK Sasikala on the sprawling sands of Marina Beach in Chennai, rebel AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam (OPS) seems to be winning his battle. By all indications, his section of the party and the bigger ruling faction are likely to close ranks in a day.

At least for the time being, TTV Dinakaran (also spelled as Dhinakaran), Sasikala’s nephew, who had himself planted at the top of the AIADMK as its deputy general secretary when his aunt went to jail in Bengaluru for corruption, will be ousted. Sasikala is unlikely to be touched for two reasons: First, she is in jail and cannot meddle with the party on a daily basis; and second, a number of MLAs cannot simply abandon their loyalty to her.

In the public eye, an apparently virtuous OPS, who rose to some sort of star status by defying Sasikala’s hegemony, will win and all will be well with the AIADMK; but in reality, it will be the BJP — that has been pulling the strings from Delhi — that wins. Without the BJP, OPS wouldn’t have rebelled and sustained himself this long, let alone won the battle.

With Sasikala in jail and Dinakaran out of the job, the AIADMK will be ridden with multiple caste and loyalty-driven factions. And that is an ideal setting for a compromises at least among the most prominent factional leaders such as OPS, chief minister Edappadi Palaniswamy and MP M Thambidurai. It remains to be seen how they share power - Edapaddy is likely to continue as the chief minister, OPS might take over as the deputy general secretary and finance minister and Thambidurai will be party’s point-man in Delhi. OPS’s associate and a Jayalalithaa favourite Mafoi K Pandiarajan is likely to get back his portfolios. Sasikala is unlikely to be touched any time now, but her influence will certainly wane.

Read the full story here

11:04 (ist)

Here are the OPS and Dinakaran camps' terms and conditions for reunification

After the Delhi Police on Monday booked AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dinakaran for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official for obtaining the party symbol for his faction following the arrest of an alleged middleman, there were speculations that a merger between the two AIADMK factions was on the cards. Rebel AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam had expressed confidence that the TTV Dinakaran-led faction leaders would approach him for merger talks.

On speculations about merger of the two AIADMK factions and that he was going to be made "general secretary", he had said that no one has approached him for it so far. "If approached, we are ready to sit and talk and I have confidence that they (leaders) will come (for talks)," he had told reporters at the airport in Chennai.

CNN-News18 also reported that sources had told the TV channel that Panneerselvam's faction had on Tuesday placed some conditions for the possible merger. He had reportedly demanded a probe panel for former chief minister J Jayalalithaa's death and wanted no interference from Sasikala's kin in party matters. Read the full story here

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Apr 20, 2017 - 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.

News-18

Apr 20, 2017 - 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. 

IANS

Apr 20, 2017 - 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.

Apr 20, 2017 - 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.”

Apr 20, 2017 - 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.

PTI

Apr 20, 2017 - 12:58 (IST)

Take a look at AIADMK Twitter timeline

Apr 20, 2017 - 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?

Apr 20, 2017 - 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. 

Apr 20, 2017 - 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.

Apr 20, 2017 - 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. 

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.

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

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:

also read

Parliament: Both Houses adjourned amid Oppn ruckus; Centre to seek suspension of TMC MP for misbehaving with IT minister
India

Parliament: Both Houses adjourned amid Oppn ruckus; Centre to seek suspension of TMC MP for misbehaving with IT minister

The minister's statement, which was laid on the table of the House, called the reports on the Pegasus scandal an 'attempt to malign the Indian democracy and its well-established institutions'

Schools in Andhra Pradesh to reopen from 16 August, as COVID-19 numbers show decline
India

Schools in Andhra Pradesh to reopen from 16 August, as COVID-19 numbers show decline

The state government will also come out with detailed guidelines on 16 August on the implementation of the New Education Policy-2020

Heavy rains in parts of Mumbai: City records 36mm rainfall in 3 hrs, local train service hit
India

Heavy rains in parts of Mumbai: City records 36mm rainfall in 3 hrs, local train service hit

The suburban trains on the Central Railway's mainline as well as the Harbour line are running 20 to 25 minutes late, an official said