Political reactions to the AIADMK merger

Minutes after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy on Monday sealed the deal for the merger of the two factions of AIADMK, O Panneerselvam took oath as the deputy chief minister.

The Chief Minister will be the Joint Coordinator while Panneerselvam faction leader K.P. Munuswami and Palaniswami faction leader and MP Vaithyalingam will be the Deputy Coordinators.

"(AIADMK Supremo and former Chief Minister) Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (Jayalalithaa who is fondly called as Amma) has been guarding the party as her own eyelid. Nearly simultaneously the Raj Bhavan also announced that OPS and K. Pandiarajan would be inducted into the cabinet. Panneerselvam will take the oath as Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

Palaniswami and his predecessor O. Pannerselvam formally announced the merger of their two warring factions of AIADMK on Tuesday. They also paid tribute at the memorial of AIAMDK founder and late chief minister M G Ramachandran popularly known as MGR. "We will fulfill all the promises made by Amma". While Jayalalithaa with her enormous popularity could get away with such demonstrations of temper, the same is being frowned upon in the Sasikala clan.

Chennai: All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, CR Saraswathi of TTV Dinakaran-VK Sasikala faction on Monday expressed unhappiness for being avoided during the merger of the EPS and the OPS factions. Though AIADMK leaders refused to reveal what exactly was discussed, it seems that the RSS person managed to persuade Panneerselvam to go ahead and take up the question of Sasikala'sremoval as the general secretaty unitedly with the Election Commission.

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February 14: The Supreme Court "restored in full" the trial court judgment convicting Sasikala in the 21-year-old disproportionate assets case and directed her to serve the remaining part of her four-year jail term. Saraswati from the Sasikala faction reminded O Panneerselvam that it was because of Sashikala only that h became the CM.

Soon after the announcement of merger Panneerselvam said, "Amma's blessings and wishes of party cadres made it possible".

"What was the compulsion to accommodate Panneerselvam who was responsible for splitting the party, freezing the party symbol and one who voted against the AIADMK government?" In the process, it now has a vice-like grip over the united AIADMK, which is well aware of the threat to the stability of its government from a bruised Dhinakaran who purportedly has about 20 MLAs with him.

The Modi government had been reportedly trying to reunite the two factions.

  • Megan Austin