TN CM Edappadi Palanisamy sacks TTV Dinakaran from AIADMK

Tamil Nadu CM Edapadi K Palanisamy chairs the meeting at AIADMK headquarters on Thursday in Chennai

Signalling a step closer to the rebel faction led by Panneerselvam, the ruling faction of AIADMK headed Palaniswami on Thursday passed a resolution against party deputy general secretary and VK Sasikala's nephew, TTV Dhinakaran, by declaring recent party appointments he made last week null and void.

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

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In a press conference convened later in the afternoon, Dinakaran scoffed at the decision and said that Sasikala was formally elected as the general secretary by the same set of people and that his appointment was valid because it was done by the general secretary.

Indeed, Chief Minister Palaniswami is torn between pressures for merger of his and Panneerselvam's factions on which the Narendra Modi government at the Centre is evidently keen, and counter-pressures from Sasikala and Dhinakaran who still control substantially the purse-strings of the party. The resolution aimed at ousting the Sasikala clan from the party, would satisfy one of the key pre-conditions of the OPS group for a merger. In a brief chat with media at the airport before leaving for Delhi, Mr Panneerselvam said he has not received any official world about the merger talks. "They said something outside and have stated something different in the affidavit furnished with the EC".

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The AIADMK in Tamil Nadu does not seem to know what it stands for and what it wants. Finally, OPS was named the CM and the oath-taking ceremony was held without any delay. Parrying questions on whether the BJP was engineering the merger, he said the "give and take" has to happen for survival. However, Tamilisai Soundararajan, BJP's State unit president, said it [the party] was not exerting any pressure on both the factions to come together."It is an internal matter of another party", Dr. The meeting also said though Sasikala was made general secretary fol- lowing the death of party supremo Jayalalithaa in December previous year, she could not function in the post in "view of extraordinary circumstances". 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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