Chennai: The bitter power struggle in Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK, which began after the death of party supremo J Jayalalithaa, may end soon as the two warring factions have inched closer to a merger deal.
According to media reports, the two warring factions of the AIADMK have given in-principle nod to the merger move and a formal announcement in this regard is likely to be made after a meeting between Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswamy and O Panneerselvam or OPS.
We are confident, hope so, D Jayakumar, Tamil Nadu Minister, was quoted as saying by ANI on the merger of the two AIADMK factions.
Significantly, a resolution adopted at the meeting called by E Palaniswamy of his faction to discuss the unification issue today agreed that VK Sasikala's appointment as party general secretary was only till the election of new 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 Palaniswami, 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.
Hindustan Times had earlier reported that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswamy is in favour of a merger which, he feels, will further strengthen the party.
A merger of the two factions of the AIADMK, if finally approved, will further sideline the ruling party's jailed general secretary VK Sasikala and her family.
After former chef minister J Jayalalithaa's death in December last year, her long-time aide VK Sasikala took over the reins of the party.
She soon became the AIADMK general secretary and was just a step away from becoming the chief minister before she landed in troubled waters in connection with a corruption case that landed her in jail.
Sasikala then appointed her nephew, TTV Dinakaran, as the deputy general secretary to maintain her grip over the party.
Dinakaran, who too faces corruption charges, has been attempting to push Chief Minister Palaniswamy to the edge by planting office-bearers loyal to him.
According to sources close to the two factions, Dinakaran’s action has probably accelerated the merger move between Palaniswamy group and the faction led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam.
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.
Palaniswamy, who replaced OPS after his revolt, will continue to be the chief minister.
If the proposal gets a go-ahead from the senior leaders of the two factions, Palaniswamy is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Importantly, Palaniswamy is also scheduled to visit New Delhi to attend the swearing-in of vice president-elect M Venkaiah Naidu this evening.
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.
The merger will be sealed only if conditions set by OPS are met, the sources said.