Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami calls TTV Dinakaran as '420'

S Ramadoss S Ramadoss
Wilma Wheeler | 12 August, 2017, 01:33

The petition comes a day after a resolution was passed by the chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami-led camp, nullifying the appointment of Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary and indicating that his aunt Sasikala's appointment as general secretary was only a temporary arrangement.

After the demise of former TN CM J Jayalalitha, the AIADMK was divided into camps in a bitter power struggle.

Sasikala, the general secretary of the Amma faction, had been the de facto No 2 in the AIADMK for over three decades thanks to her close association with Jayalalithaa as her live-in aide. At the meeting, it was decided that VK Sasikala's appointment was "temporary, till the election of a new chief".

It may be recalled that the speculations about the merger of AIADMK factions arose when TTV Dinakaran was removed from party post. A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Palaniswamy at the party headquarters in Royapettah made a decision to overrule the elevation of Sasikala's nephew as party deputy general secretary as null and void. Thursday's resolution that declared Dhinakaran's appointment as deputy general secretary invalid, refrained from mentioning Sasikala's appointment. After finalizing the agreement, the Chief Minister is now expected to embark for Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

The DMK has repeatedly criticised the merger talks and said they were being fanned by the BJP, which wants to expand its footprint in the large southern state where it is a fringe player. To protect itself, the EPS fraction publicly distanced itself from Sasikala and Dinakaran, and some prominent leaders even said that both had nothing to do with the party. That would mean Palanisami manages the government while the party is controlled by OPS.

If EPS moves an inch, Dinakaran will put down his government because he has 37 MLAs with him. In June this year, Dhinakaran got bail in a case in which he was charged of trying to bribe Election Commission officials for obtaining the AIADMK's "two leaves" symbol in the RK Nagar bypoll. 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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