Tamil politics

Tamil Nadu: Both AIADMK factions announce committees to discuss merger

The Election Commission has frozen the party’s two leaves symbol until June 16 and advised the groups to reach a compromise.

Both factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Friday announced committees to discuss a merger. The AIADMK-Amma group first put together a panel, led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, followed by AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma, whose committee will be led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. Panneerselvam will be joined by senior leaders KP Munusamy, Mafoi K Pandiyarajan, Ponnaiyan, Manoj Pandian, JCD Prabhakar, Natham R Viswanathan, and V Maitreyan, reported The Hindu.

Palaniswami’s olive branch was proffered on Friday, a day after OPS’ group had demanded that AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew and Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran be formally removed from the party for the two sides to unite, PTI reported.

Tamil Nadu Cabinet ministers D Jayakumar, SP Velumani and CV Shanmugham, as well as Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithilingam and others attended the AIADMK-Amma meeting at the party headquarters. Vaithilingam will head the seven-member committee, which will also include ministers Jayakumar, KA Sengottaiyan and C Sreenivasan. Members of the panel were chosen by Palaniswami.

On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Jayakumar had announced that Sasikala and Dinakaran will be kept away from party affairs. But so far, there has been no confirmation that they have resigned from the AIADMK. Besides their expulsion, the Panneerselvam camp had also demanded the removal of some 30 other members of Sasikala’s family from the AIADMK.

The decision follows months of political turmoil in Tamil Nadu, which began after former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death on December 5. Panneerselvam has been fighting against Sasikala’s rapid rise to the top ranks of the AIADMK. She was set to take over as chief minister till the Supreme Court convicted her in a disproportionate assets case, after which Palaniswami took over.

Party symbol remains frozen

The AIADMK-Amma and AIADMK-Puratchi Thalaivi Amma factions on Tuesday announced that they would hold talks to unite the two sides to rescue the party’s “two leaves” symbol. The Election Commission had frozen the symbol in March, after a dispute between the two camps. On Friday, however, the poll monitor maintained the freeze and advised the factions to resolve their issues. Neither faction can use the symbol until June 16.

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