Senior All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M Thambidurai on Wednesday said that there was no question of a change in Tamil Nadu’s chief minister. Edappadi K Palaniswami had won the floor test in the Assembly against O Panneerselvam in February. Thambidurai, who is also the deputy speaker in the Lok Sabha, said since Palaniswami had the support of 124 MLAs, he would remain in charge.
His statement came soon after the two warring AIADMK factions showed signs of merging, following their decision to sideline VK Sasikala and her family. Sasikala, who had been J Jayalalithaa’s longtime aide, had appointed her nephew TTV Dinakaran to the party after she was convicted in an illegal wealth case.
On Wednesday, Panneerselvam called the party’s decision against Sasikala the “first victory in our crusade”. “Both the factions will talk to fulfil the aspirations of lakhs of party workers. This is our faction’s first victory that Sasikala and her family have been ousted from the party,” he said. However, it remains to be seen what will come of the “merger” and if he will get a portfolio in the state Cabinet.
Panneerselvam had been petitioning against Sasikala since her meteoric rise to the top of the AIADMK. She had been set to replace him as chief minister till she was convicted in February. Her nephew Dinakaran also appears to be in legal trouble now, as the Delhi Police had booked him for trying to bribe the Election Commission to give his faction of the party the AIADMK symbol. A notice has been issued against him in case he tries to leave the country.