April 2017
10:55 AM IST
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Trouble-hit AIADMK eyes merger of warring factions, sidelines Sasikala and her kin
(Chennai, Apr 18,2017):Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK party on Tuesday distanced itself from jailed general secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran, brightening prospects of a truce with the O Panneerselvam faction that had rebelled against her leadership.

The decision was “unanimous” and based on the views of all ministers, including chief minister E Palaniswami, legislators, MPs and the people, state minister D?Jayakumar said, stressing that a committee will now run the party.

The Sasikala clan will be completely kept away from the party and the government, which should not be controlled by one family, finance and fisheries minister Jayakumar said.

Jayakumar had hinted after a meeting late on Monday night that the two warring factions of the AIADMK will come together, but Panneerselvam appeared adamant on keeping Sasikala at bay before joining forces with CM?Palaniswami.

The fastpaced developments in the AIADMK came close on the heels of Delhi Police booking deputy general secretary Dinakaran for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official to get the party’s “two leaves” symbol allotted to his faction.

Pressure was already mounting on Dinakaran to step down after the poll panel cancelled the RK Nagar assembly byelection following a cashforvote scandal, and the police action against him made matters worse.

Dinakaran, a nephew of general secretary Sasikala who is serving time in a corruption case, is the party’s RK Nagar candidate.

The seat fell vacant after the death of chief minister J Jayalalithaa on December 5, and the bypoll turned into a battle for her legacy between Sasikala, her aide of almost 30 years, and Panneerselvam, a loyalist.

The AIADMK suffered a vertical split after Jayalalithaa’s death, following which her close aide Sasikala was appointed as the party chief.

However, in February this year, Panneerselvam revolted against Sasikala, alleging that he was forced to make way for her to become chief minister of the state.

Subsequently, some MPs and MLAs joined the Panneerselvam camp even as chief minister Palaniswami, a Sasikala loyalist, survived a confidence vote in the state assembly.

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