Panneerselvam sworn in as deputy CM, Sasikala likely to be expelled

21 August, 2017, 21:15 | Author: Gary Shelton
  • Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam. PTI File

Even after the merger of the two main factions of AIADMK, political turbulence in Tamil Nadu may not be over yet as the third faction led by Sasikala's nephew TTV Dinakaran is on a revolt path. Earlier, in the day, O Panneerselvam and Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami had reached AIADMK party head office in Chennai to announce the merger.

Palaniswami and his predecessor O. Pannerselvam formally announced the merger of their two warring factions of AIADMK on Tuesday. A 11-member steering committee has been formed to manage party affairs for which OPS and EPS will be joint coordinators.

AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathy, however, said that a total of seven lakh signatures have been collected to retain Sasikala as the general secretary. Panneerselvam had already contested the elevation of Sasikala as general secretary in January, arguing that the election was against party norms. His resignation was accepted by Governor C Vidyasagar Rao but was asked to continue as acting CM till "alternate arrangements are made".

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DMK on Monday questioned the likely merger of two factions of AIADMK, terming it a "BJP-engineered" move. The Dinakaran camp, however, maintained that it is not that easy to sack Sasikala who was chosen for the post by the party general council. Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Palaniswami has left for Tiruvarur in Thanjavur district to take part in the MGR centenary function.

Palaniswami on Thursday announced a judicial probe into the death of Jayalalithaa. Hopefully, wiser counsel will prevail and ensure Panneerselvam gets off his high horse and make him see reason by accepting that EPS had way more support within AIADMK legislators than he himself did. The AIADMK Amma faction's reluctance to expel Sasikala as party chief and member was cited as a cause in media reports.

However, Panneerselvam cleared the air yesterday, saying a positive result was expected in a day or two.

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"As rivals factions of ruling AIADMK on Monday chose to merge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured all support to Tamil Nadu government for the growth of the state".

The development will bring some relief to supporters of the AIADMK, which came to power in May 2016 and has been struggling to keep its pack together following the death of party supremo Jayalalithaa in December previous year.

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