12,352.35-3.15
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

AIADMK merger delayed, O Panneerselvam & E Palaniswami keep talking

Party cadre and functionaries arrived in huge numbers at headquarters on Lloyd’s Road even as the crowd thickened around the grave of the former chief minister.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 19, 2017, 12.35 AM IST
0Comments
AIADMK party suffered a split after former chief minister and Jayalalithaa loyalist O Panneerselvam struck out against VK Sasikala
AIADMK party suffered a split after former chief minister and Jayalalithaa loyalist O Panneerselvam struck out against VK Sasikala
CHENNAI: AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam and chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami held hectic parleys with their respective camp followers to deliberate a merger, five months after a power struggle at the top triggered by the ascent of VK Sasikala made a rebel out of Panneerselvam.

The development came a day after the chief minister announced a judicial probe into the death of J Jayalalithaa and the conversion of her Poes Garden residence into a memorial. Even as the deliberations were underway, arrangements were made for security at the chief minister’s beachside grave at Marina, where both leaders were expected to arrive after the discussions to symbolise the unification.

Till the time of going to the press, there was no official announcement on the merger for both factions. Party cadre and functionaries arrived in huge numbers at headquarters on Lloyd’s Road even as the crowd thickened around the grave of the former chief minister.

“All we want is the two factions to unify. Nothing will put the party back on track as that. Now, all over Tamil Nadu, cadre are demoralised seeing the current drama and dallying. There should a stop to all that,” said V Mayilvaganan, a fan of MG Ramachandran and a supporter of the AIADMK. The

AIADMK party suffered a split after former chief minister and Jayalalithaa loyalist O Panneerselvam struck out against VK Sasikala, alleging misappropriation of power at the party.

He managed a draw about 10 legislators besides himself and some members of Parliament but Sasikala’s standin leader Edappadi K Palamiswami had obtained majority on the floor of the house and gone on to lead the government as chief minister. By evening, politicians with the three factions had gone into a huddle, with a few legislators still loyal to TTV Dhinakaran meeting a hotel near the party headquarters. The OPS camp had met at the former chief minister’s erstwhile residence on Greenways Road while the ruling faction met at the chief minister’s living quarters on the same lane. Earlier in the day, top ministers in the Edappadi K Palaniswami camp had visited O Panneerselvam, indicating that there could be inclinations to patch up.

Even as this was on, a few legislators with allegiance to TTV Dhinakaran – who had travelled to Bengaluru to seek the counsel of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa aide VK Sasikala – returned from Bengaluru met up at a hotel on the same road as the party headquarters in the city. Dhinakaran had earlier hinted to media in Bengaluru that he had closet sympathisers among the legislators; he dubbed them “sleeper cells,” who would begin unfurling their strategy, need be. He said a merger just to fortify leadership positions of the current top brass within the AIADMK was not acceptable.

Meanwhile, police presence increased outside Veda Nilayam, the residence of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa which has been announced to be converted into a memorial. Opposition to the plan emerged from Jayalalithaa’s niece and nephew Deepa and Deepak Jayakumar, both had been embroiled in the churning politics after Jayalalithaa’s death.

P Aravindan, Deputy Commissioner, T Nagar, told ET: “We have increased the security. There is no action regarding any government take-over of the property.” Former legislator P Vettrivel, a loyalist of TTV Dhinakaran, set much store by the assertion that people’s power and support counted more in the long-run than short term gains: “It is known that they have been trying to merge for a while now. We do not know what exactly has caused this to happen now. Even though the party and government may go to their hands, we have the people’s support,” he told reporters near party headquarters.

Also Read

AIADMK continues to ridicule Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth

Ruling AIADMK faced first electoral rout in 8 years in 2019

Out of Amma's shadow: CM Palaniswami's rise to AIADMK's undisputed leader

Dual leadership to continue in AIADMK

AIADMK asks Chidambaram to 'face' INX Media case

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service