The statement comes amidst speculation of a merger between the warring AIADMK factions.

In midst of merger deal EPS calls TTV Dhinakarans appointment illegal will OPS agree
news Politics Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 12:39

Will it be truce, at last, for the warring factions of the AIADMK – one led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and the other by former CM turned rebel O Panneerselvam?

In what is the first step towards a likely merger deal, the AIADMK (Amma) faction on Thursday adopted a resolution that the appointment of TTV Dhinakaran as the party Deputy General Secretary is illegal and that his announcement of office bearers were invalid and against the party rules.

The resolution comes following a meeting between the CM and other senior leaders of the AIADMK (Amma) such as ministers D Jayakumar, KA Sengottaiyan, P Thangamani, SP Velumani at the AIADMK Headquarters in Chennai on Thursday. It also comes amidst speculation that a merger between the AIADMK (Amma) and the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) is in the final stages.

"We are in a situation where each of us have to unite to ensure that Jayalalithaa's goals and principles are fulfilled," reads the resolution. "We are obliged to fulfil her duties. None of our cadre will wish to see anybody else in the place of Amma as the permanent General Secretary," it adds. 

While Thursday's resolution makes a reference to VK Sasikala as the General Secretary, it goes on to state that she was unable to carry out her duties due to "extraordinary circumstances" and the fact that her appointment had been challenged with the Election Commission. The statement signed by 27 AIADMK (Amma) members then goes on to note that TTV Dhinakaran, who was removed by late CM Jayalalithaa in 2011, was reinducted as a member of the AIADMK on February 14, following Sasikala's conviction in the Disproportionate Assets case. He was then appointed as Deputy General Secretary on February 15.  

"His appointments was against our party rules. Since he was not a party member continuously for five years, he could not be appointed the Deputy General Secretary," notes the statement.  

The latest party statement also comes less than a week after TTV Dhinakaran announced his return to active politics by announcing 64 new office bearers to the party.
Clearing the air on his appointments, the resolution reads, "The party need not abide by his announcement that is creating unneccessary confusion. The appointments he made are against the rules of the party. The party members are requested not to go by this." 
While the expulsion of Sasikala and Dhinakaran were among the key demands made by the OPS faction, the resolution from the EPS camp falls short of their removal. Reacting to the AIADMK (Amma) statement, KP Munuswamy from the OPS faction said, "We will be happy if Sasikala is expelled from the party. A merger is possible only if our two demands including a CBI probe into Jayalalithaa's death are met."
 
Adding to the speculation over the merger, EPS and OPS are expected to fly out to New Delhi later on Thursday to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. The capital, many speculate, will provide the stage for the two warring sides to come together.
 
S Thirunavukarasu reporting for Deccan Chronicle states that as per the merger agreement, Palaniswami will continue as Chief Minister, and will retain his cabinet. OPS, however, will head a seven-member committee to manage the party affairs until general council elections take place, reported DC.
 
In the likelihood of a merger, it remains unclear if Dhinakaran, who claims to have the support of 22 MLAs, will bring down the EPS-led government, which has a wafer-thin majority. 
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