Chennai: A day after the AIADMK faction led by Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswamy (EPS) adopted a resolution against jailed party general secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakran, all eyes are now on former chief minister O Panneerselvam who heads the other faction.
The two warring factions have reportedly finalised the merger deal and a formal announcement in this regard can be made any time.
Taking the merger move a step closer to reality, the EPS faction on August 10 adopted a resolution against VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran. During the meeting chaired by the chief minister, the EPS faction agreed that Sasikala's appointment as party general secretary was only till the election of new party chief.
The AIADMK (Amma) resolution further stated that the appointment of Dinakaran as Sasiskala's deputy was done against party by-laws.
The resolution, signed by the office-bearers including Palaniswamy, said, ''Dhinakaran was expelled by Jayalalithaa in December 2011 from the primary membership of the party. His reinduction into the party on February 14 and his appointment as deputy general secretary the following day were in violation of party bylaw 30 (V).''
"Since he failed to continue as primary member for five years, he cannot hold any position in the party as per by-laws," the resolution said.
Dinakaran’s recent appointments have led to confusion in party ranks, the AIADMK (Amma) faction resolution adopted at the meeting chaired by CM Palaniswami stated.
The sources close to the two factions have earlier indicated that a merger between the two sides is most likely to happen provided certain conditions set by O Panneerselvam or OPS are met.
Panneerselvam, who wants at least three ministerial berths to lawmakers loyal to him, is firm in his stand that Sasikala and her family must be kept out of the party and government.
Sources claim the OPS may be appointed Dy CM of the Tamil Nadu, as part of the deal.
According to the insiders, OPS will remain the interim general secretary of the AIADMK till the Election Commission decides the validity of Sasikala’s appointment as the party chief.
Meanwhile, Sasikala's nephew Dinakaran, whose action has probably accelerated the merger move between Palaniswamy group and the OPS faction, has warned of 'surgical action' against the Chief Minister and rubbished the party statements questioning his appointment as AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary.
As Sasikala's hand-picked CM raised a banner of revolt against her, Dhinakaran wondered how the Palaniswami camp could comment against Sasikala when they themselves had furnished an affidavit to the EC, endorsing her appointment as party chief.
Dhinakaran, who is Sasikala's nephew, said his post was a nominated one and the party general secretary could name office-bearers to such posts. He asserted that the appointments he made were valid as well and these were in tune with party bye-laws. He also cited Sasikala naming Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan as party treasurer.
Dismissing the meet chaired by Palaniswami as caused by fear and selfish motives, he said the AIADMK was in the control of the party chief and himself. "For sure all steps will be taken for the party’s growth. If the situation warrants, surgical action will be taken,” he said, adding it does not matter if it was Chief Minister Palaniswami or others.
"We have the courage to take action and we have the support of cadres to do it." Without naming anyone, he said action would be taken against those who had forgotten about who had appointed them to their current positions in the government and those who had joined hands with rivals to continue on their posts. Palaniswami's name was proposed by Sasikala for CM's post at a hurried meet at a nearby resort after a Supreme Court order convicted her in an assets case.
He claimed that the chief minister’s camp had wantonly misinterpreted party rules to say that his appointment was against the party law and also questioned their using the letterhead of undivided AIADMK which was barred by the EC.
At the moment, Dhinakaran is perceived to be commanding the loyalty of approximately 30-35 legislators in the 234 member House.