3 factions battle for AIADMK throne

This happened after 20 ministers in the Tamil Nadu government chose to remove VK Sasikala and her family from the AIADMK "unanimously". "They claim to have removed Sasikala's family but they have to take back the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission calling Sasikala as General Secretary and TTV Dhinakaran as Deputy General Secretary".

Rumours were also that the OPS faction, apart from wanting the post of CM has also asked for Home Department and few other core ministries which EPS faction is not happy to part with. The senior leader pointed out that Jayakumar had not mentioned Sasikala's name during his press meet on Tuesday and had limited his announcement to Dhinakaran's ouster.

The Supreme Court by dismissing the Karnataka government's review petition in J Jayalalitha's Disproportionate Assets case without giving an opportunity to the parties to argue their points of view has unintentionally contributed to the ongoing moves to unite the two factions of the AIADMK and retrieve the party's "two leaves" symbol frozen by the Election Commission of India.

On reports that the crime branch of Delhi Police issued lookout notice against him on the grounds that he might try to flee the country, he retorted, "How can I flee the country when my passport is in the custody of the court for the past 16 years".

Munusamy also said that only Panneerselvam had the support of the people and the cadres and the rival camp was "afraid" that the majority of MLAs only favoured Panneerselvam for the Chief Minister's post.

However, Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambi Durai, who had backed Palaniswami throughout the leadership tussle after Jayalalithaa's death, ruled out the possibility of replacing the CM.

Are talks between the two warring factions of the AIADMK heading for a collapse? They have also placed a demand to make OPS the general secretary of the party. The party split as Mr Panneerselvam rebelled after being forced to step down as Chief Minister. "Let them (Sasikala faction) come out with official statements on the demands which we have made".

While the demands of the Panneerselvam camp are not new, the manner in which they are being raised has not gone unnoticed. The state unit of the party is led by doctor-turned politician Tamilisai Sounderajan.

Only after the merger formalities are completed, can the two factions can approach the EC to unfreeze the symbol.

Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who has returned to Chennai from Mumbai, may again have to play a role in ensuring smooth governance in the days to come.

  • Leroy Wright