AIADMK dumps TTV Dinakaran as Deputy General Secretary

E Palaniswamy and O Paneerselvam

Modi's "friendly counsel" to Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palanisamy and rival AIADMK leader O Paneerselvam was said to have been made during their separate meetings with him in Delhi recently, a key AIADMK functionary said. The resolution, signed by the office-bearers including Palaniswami, was released to the media after the meet.

Welcoming the decision, former Minister and spokesman of the AIADMK (PTA) faction KP Munusami said, "They have to get rid of the entire Sasikala clan from the party and order a probe into the factors which led to the hospitalisation and passing away of J Jayalalithaa for the merger to materialise between the two factions".

The resolution, however, stopped short of expelling him and Sasikala from the party, which is one of the main pre-condition of the OPS camp for the merger. The other two factions are led by Palaniswami and Sasikala.

A high-level meeting of this group, presided over by Palaniswami, declared Dinakaran's appointment as deputy general secretary by his aunt and general secretary VK Sasikala "illegal". "I can appoint or take disciplinary action against not only EPS (the CM) but also against those who indulge in anti-party activities", he said, vowing to continue his party work by undertaking a state-wide tour on August 14 and steer the party towards a resounding victory in the 2019 Parliament elections.

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Earlier in the day, Tamil Nadu minister D. Jayakumar expressed confidence over the merger of EPS, OPS factions of the AIADMK and said he hopes it happens soon. Apart from voter bribery, Dinakaran was also accused of trying to influence the Election Commission to win the party's "two leaves" symbol which had been frozen by the poll panel.

Sasikala Natarajan is the long term political aide of Jayalalithaa and member of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

"He believes no action would be taken against him because of this threat", a senior AIADMK (Amma) leader said. It is understood that the BJP was nudging both the factions to unite and even consider the prospects of joining the NDA formally. "The signatories of today's resolution, including Palaniswami, had endorsed Sasikala as general secretary (in December last year)". But she landed in the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, in connection with the Disproportionate Assets case initiated by BJP's Subrahmanyan Swamy. "He can not hold any party post since he was not a party member for a continuous five years", said the resolution.

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