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AIADMK merger highlights: Sasikala faction makes dramatic come back, 18 MLAs may pull out from govt

Decks are cleared for the merger of two factions in AIADMK — one led by Chief Minister E Palaniswamy and the other led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam — on Monday, party officials told IANS on Monday.

FP Politics August 21, 2017 22:10:57 IST
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AIADMK merger highlights: Sasikala faction makes dramatic come back, 18 MLAs may pull out from govt

Highlights

16:55 (ist)

What will the new Tamil Nadu cabinet look like?

Deputy Chief Minister ​Panneerselvam has been allocated the finance portfolio which was previously held by D Jayakumar. According to The Times of India, the former chief minister will also take charge of Housing, Rural Housing and Housing Development, Slum Clearance Board and Accommodation Control, Town Planning, Urban Development and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority ministries that were held by Udumalai K Radhakrishnan. 

Panneerselvam's key aide, Pandiarajan will get the Tamil Official Language & Tamil Culture ministry that was previously held by Sevvoor S Ramachandran. He will take charge of the Ministry of Archaeology from K A Sengottaiyan. 

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Aug 21, 2017 - 21:43 (IST)

Sasikala faction makes dramatic come back, likely to spell trouble for newly merged AIADMK

Eighteen MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran and Sasikala faction have reignited the political debate in Tamil Nadu, just when the dust was starting to settle on the high-decibel AIADMK merger. 

The MLAs visited the Amma memorial, which has recently become the stage-setter for all political drama in the state, and sat in meditation. They also raised pro-Sasikala slogans, while announcing that they will meet the governor tomorrow at 10.00 am. 

Now 18 happens to be the exact number needed to topple the AIADMK government in the 235-member Assembly. All that the Dinakaran camp has to do is submit a no-confidence resolution to the governor. However, Dinakaran's supporters have refrained from spelling out the agenda of the meeting. This could only be a warning call, a show of strength by the Mannargudi clan to remind Palaniswamy, what is at stake if he chooses to go ahead with Sasikala's ouster. 

Aug 21, 2017 - 21:20 (IST)

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MLAs backing Dinakaran visit Jayalalithaa's memorial, raise pro-Sasikala slogans

Aug 21, 2017 - 19:06 (IST)

Merger of AIADMK factions won't benefit people: Kanimozhi

The merger of two AIADMK factions would in no way be beneficial to the people of Tamil Nadu, DMK MP and the party's women's wing leader Kanimozhi said on Monday. Moreover, the people had not voted for these leaders and the continuation of the government itself was doubtful, she said.

Aug 21, 2017 - 19:06 (IST)

CPM says BJP hand behind 'opportunistic' AIADMK merger

CPM politburo member Prakash Karat today termed the merger of AIADMK factions as opportunistic and alleged that the BJP was behind it. 

"The opportunistic decision by the two factions, at the behest of BJP. will be rejected by the people of Tamil Nadu," he  told reporters at the airport in Chennai. 

The CPM leader said that joining hands with 'communal forces' like BJP will be dangerous to AIADMK and also the people of Tamil Nadu, "who will totally reject this opportunism."

Aug 21, 2017 - 18:29 (IST)

Merger brought tremendous joy to lakhs of party workers: OPS 

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Revolts, split and union, a timeline of developments in party since Jayalalithaa's death

Since the demise of former AIADMK supremo and chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December last year, Tamil Nadu's political scenario has witnessed unprecedented drama. Following is the chronology of major events in the southern state's ruling party. The state has seen it all — revolt, conviction in a graft case of Jayalalithaa's aide and her successor to the party post VK Sasikala, split in the party, cancellation of bypoll to RK Nagar seat held by the late CM, sidelining of party deputy chief TTV Dinakaran and the eventual merger on Monday.

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Decks are cleared for the merger of two factions in AIADMK — one led by Chief Minister E Palaniswamy and the other led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam — on Monday, party officials told IANS on Monday.

They also said following the formal announcement of merger, the cabinet may be reshuffled inducting Panneerselvam as the deputy chief minister and some of his faction members. Governor CV Rao (holding additional charge in Tamil Nadu) is expected to be here for the swearing-in.

Prior to the merger announcement, the Palaniswamy faction was expected to pass a resolution against AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala.

As per AIADMK party byelaws, the General Secretary cannot be removed by a resolution passed by a committee or group of office bearers.

AIADMK merger highlights Sasikala faction makes dramatic come back 18 MLAs may pull out from govt

A file image of Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswamy in Chennai. PTI

According to insiders, in order to overcome this hurdle and also to carry out the party affairs, a steering or advisory committee would be formed with representation from the two merging factions.

The decisions of the advisory committee has to be ratified at the general council meeting, said an AIADMK leader.

According to party insiders, one of the moves that is being contemplated is to abolish the post of General Secretary on the pretext that late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa will be the party's permanent General Secretary. This would be done by amending the party byelaws.

But the main question is can the by-law be amended to take away the only power that a primary member enjoys? As per AIADMK constitution, the party General Secretary is elected directly by the primary members. The party has around 1.5 crore members.

"It is a legal question that has to be deliberated in detail," C Ponnaian, former finance minister and part of Panneerselvam faction told IANS on Sunday. One of the basic condition laid down by the Panneerselvam camp for merger is that AIADMK should dismiss Sasikala and her family members from the party.

The Palaniswamy faction had declared the appointment of TTV Dinakaran, Sasikala's nephew, as deputy general secretary as "improper, unacceptable and invalid". This was challenged by Dinakaran.

Meanwhile following the merger of two factions, the Panneerselvam-Palaniswamy faction may get back the party's popular "two leaves" symbol which has been frozen by the Election Commission.

"As regards party affairs, Panneerselvam will be the number one and Palaniswamy number two. In the government, Panneerselvam in most probability will be the deputy chief minister," the leader told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

"There will be couple of ministerial berths for legislators from our group," he added. This is the contour of the merger plan the two factions in the AIADMK have agreed upon. The leader also said the government can look into the possibility of reviving the Legislative Council or Upper House of the assembly to accommodate members in the party without showing the door for those now holding posts.

The Upper House in Tamil Nadu was abolished by AIADMK founder and late chief minister MG Ramachandran in 1986. Attempts to revive it by a DMK government were cancelled when the AIADMK came back to power.

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