Tamil politics

Tamil Nadu: AIADMK merger is not going to happen now, says Panneerselvam

The former chief minister demanded Sasikala be sacked from the party, and claimed her nephew Dinakaran was still running her faction of the ADMK.

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Friday said there will be no talks between the two factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Panneerselvam, who has long since demanded that General Secretary VK Sasikala be sacked, said that she and members of her family still ran the other faction of the party.

He again asked that she and her nephew, Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran, be removed from the party. Sasikala is in jail, after being convicted in an illegal wealth case. Dinakaran is also currently in custody for allegedly attempting to bribe an Election Commission official.

On Friday, Panneerselvam asked that Sasikala’s faction of the party not be allowed to use the official party headquarters in Royapettah, Chennai, IANS reported. He added, “Our group has launched a dharma yudh for upholding the principles laid down by the late MGR and Jayalalithaa that the party should not go into the hands of any family, least of all into the hands of Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran. Even now the official party organ ‘Namadhu MGR’ carries statements in the name of Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran.” Sasikala had appointed Edappadi Palaniswami to take over after she was jailed.

His faction has also demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation look into J Jayalalithaa’s death. Panneerselvam refused to reveal whom he and his faction will support in the upcoming presidential election. Reports said he might meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his trip to Delhi.

Panneerselvam is in Delhi to meet the Election Commission over its decision to freeze the AIADMK’s “two leaves” party symbol. It has been frozen until June 16, and the two factions have been allotted different names and symbols.

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