EPS clips Dinakaran's wings; merger bid on

E Palaniswamy and O Paneerselvam

Chennai: In a categorical move aimed at bringing together two warring factions within AIADMK, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his supporters on Thursday passed a resolution nullifying the appointment of T T V Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary of the party, saying it "violated" the party bylaws.

A release issued by Palaniswami after a meeting which was attended by 27 senior office-bearers and Ministers of the party at the party headquarters on Thursday morning said that Dinakaran's appointment as deputy general secretary by VK Sasikala was not tenable.

Dhinakaran, who is Sasikala's nephew, said his post was a nominated one and the party general secretary could name office-bearers to such posts.

A Senior leader from the O Panneerselvam-led faction said that Sasikala's removal and setting up of a judicial enquiry into AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa's death are "our fundamental demands for unification".

Using the IPC section 420 to label the Chief Minister a "cheat", the former Rajya Sabha MP stated, "Misuse of the AIADMK letterhead is forgery and cheating". The party has been in disarray since Jayalalithaa died, with various factions - led respectively by Sasikala and Dinkaran, Paneerselvam and, later, Palaniswamy - jostling for control.

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He also played down the controversies surrounding the AIADMK and said people have their own views which need to be looked at.

"We are fully confident about Deepa Jayakumar", stated the Tamil Nadu Minister over the merger of the two AIADMK factions. As he failed to be a primary member it is not legal for him to become the party general secretary according to the Aiadmk by-law. Dhinakaran said the same leaders who were now talking against them were the ones who had campaigned for him in the RK Nagar bypoll which was subsequently cancelled. It is understood that the BJP was nudging both the factions to unite and even consider the prospects of joining the NDA formally. "Dinakaran has been clearly told he has no powers. If the situation warrants, surgical action will be taken", he said, adding it does not matter if it was Chief Minister Palaniswami or others.

The merger is crucial for the AIADMK to get back its two leaves symbol - that was frozen after the split - that is necessary to reach out to the masses easily.

The decision was taken ahead of Palanisamy's visit to New Delhi on Friday where he will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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