Eye on merger, Edappadi K Palaniswami distances party from Sasikala, Dhinakaran

Eye on merger, Edappadi K Palaniswami distances party from Sasikala, Dhinakaran

Eye on merger, Edappadi K Palaniswami distances party from Sasikala, Dhinakaran

The merger talks were fasttracked when Dhinakaran named his loyalists as party office-bearers. Here, however, the BJP is expecting a fast marriage of the two factions of the ruling AIADMK which has seen a rift following the death of J Jayalalithaa, the supremo of the party and the state's then chief minister, in December past year.

The resolution by the EPS faction comes amidst speculation that a merger with former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam's party AIADMK (PTA) is on the cards.

According to sources, the two factions of the ruling AIADMK party have given their nods to a possible merger between the two.

Formal expulsion of party General Secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew Dinakaran from the party was the important condition for merger by the O Panneerselvan led rebel faction.

He claimed that the chief minister's camp had wantonly misinterpreted party rules to say that his appointment was against the party law and also questioned their using the letterhead of undivided AIADMK which was barred by the EC.

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Earlier in the day, Tamil Nadu minister D. Jayakumar expressed confidence over the merger of EPS, OPS factions of the AIADMK and said he hopes it happens soon.

The AIADMK also said that Dinakaran was creating confusion by appointing several party office bearers. For the first time in the history of the AIADMK, four MLAs refused to take up the posts - a move which is seen as a rebuff to Dinakaran. 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.

Interestingly, both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam are leaving for New Delhi late on Thursday to take part in the swearing-in ceremony of Vice-President-elect M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday. It is understood that the BJP was nudging both the factions to unite and even consider the prospects of joining the NDA formally.

But Dhinakaran was expelled in December 2011, and was readmitted in February. But she landed in the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, in connection with the Disproportionate Assets case initiated by BJP's Subrahmanyan Swamy.

"It was a concerted decision not to include their names to send the message loud and clear that Jayalalithaa is still supreme in the party and appointments made by her still stands", a senior party leader said. "No one can confuse cadres... they are clear", he said adding that the people too were closely following.

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