In a dramatic announcement, Rajya Sabha MP Vaithilingam told the media and AIADMK members gathered at the party headquarters that General Secretary VK Sasikala would be expelled from the party.
Vaithilingam added that the General Council would be convened soon and she would be removed from the post of General Secretary.
This was one of the primary demands of the OPS faction for a merger. On Monday though OPS was supposed to reach the AIADMK office at 12.00 pm, the merger was delayed by several hours as no assurance had come from EPSâ€™s side.
Though the demand of expelling Sasikala seems to have been met, it was a tame end to the dramatic rebellion launched by former TN CM O Panneerselvam six months ago.
Just weeks after he ruled out any possibility of a merger of the two AIADMK factions, OPS has settled down to become the Deputy Chief Minister under Edappadi Palanisamy. He will also handle the portfolios of Finance Housing and Urban Development.
Besides him, former Minister Mafoi Pandiarajan has been given the portfolios of Tamil Official Languages and Culture and Archeology.
Mafoi had been School Education minister till February, when he defected to the OPS camp. Semmalai had been Health and Education Minister from 2001-2004.
For many, this particular end to OPS's rebellion where they have settled for two cabinets seems to have come as a major disappointment. After all, even as late as on August 2, OPS had said that the EPS government is one in which all departments are steeped in corruption.
And on August 10, the OPS faction was set to hold a protest against the EPS governmentâ€™s inefficiencies, with a focus on the NEET controversy, on drinking water shortages in the state and the dengue epidemic. However, at the last minute, the protest was postponed to August 18, and then postponed again indefinitely as the merger began to crystallise.
The former CMâ€™s repeated statements seemed to suggest that he would settle for nothing short of taking over the government. OPSâ€™s acceptance of EPSâ€™s rule, therefore, has reportedly awoken voices of dissent within the OPS camp who believe that OPS' appointment as deputy CM is too much of a compromise.
While there have been attempts from the EPS faction to sideline Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran, the ousted deputy General Secretary refuses to be easily pushed aside, and claims the loyalty of around 20 MLAs. For the AIADMK, this is a dangerous number, as the DMK holds 99 seats in the Assembly, and can topple the government if the TTV faction sides with it.