In Tamil Nadu's never ending political soap opera, the ruling faction of the AIADMK led by chief minister E Palanisamy (EPS) is trying to woo back the dwindling viewer-loyalty yet again by canceling the appointments in the party made by TTV Dinakaran.
Removing Sasikala and her family members from the party, and ordering a probe into Jayalalithaa's death were the two key demands raised by the "OPS group", which broke away to form a separate outfit, AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma), in February. "It is clear by implication that the affidavits (in support of Sasikala and Dhinakaran) filed by them ( EPS camp) were false and in any case can not be considered by the commission", it said. He said he would act against any partyman, including the chief minister, if they went against the interests of the party.
Earlier on Thursday, Tamil Nadu minister D. Jayakumar expressed confidence over the merger of EPS, OPS factions of the AIADMK and said he hopes it happens soon.
On the eve of his crucial meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, Palaniswami chaired a meeting of party office bearers and passed a resolution suggesting that the post of General Secretary in the AIADMK will be kept vacant as a tribute to J.Jayalalithaa, who passed away on December 5 2016.
The plea to the EC comes on a day when both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam were in Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Venkaiah Naidu as Vice President of India. He is said to have offered to OPS the post of deputy CM. "We will take extraordinary steps, unlike last time, to make sure that the state has a functioning government", a DMK source said.
Interlocuters are said to have come up with alternative proposals including one that envisages OPS as "working general secretary" of the AIADMK while letting Palanisami stay on as CM.
A resolution adopted at a meeting of the chief minister's faction said the appointment of Dhinakaran was against the party rules and that its cadres have been asked to ignore his directives. "If there is a crisis, he will choose the party first, not the government".
If EPS moves an inch, Dinakaran will put down his government because he has 37 MLAs with him. "How can they use the AIADMK letterhead when there is a restraining order from the Election Commission?" It was during his absence that EPS reportedly strengthened his position in the party and emerged as a real threat to Dinakaran.
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