AIADMK merger: O. Panneerselvam wants proof of Sasikala, Dinakaran ouster

The two leaves symbol is well recognised in Tamil Nadu, and both factions reportedly believe the party would do better if it fought under that banner rather than under the new symbols the EC has given the two factions.

Panneerselvam reiterated that AIADMK founder and former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran and his successor J. Jayalalithaa led the party as a movement of cadres.

Munusamy also asked the ruling AIADMK faction to withdraw the affidavit filed with the Election Commission naming Sasikala as General Secretary and Dinakaran as Deputy General Secretary.

Seeking to avoid any confrontation, Dinakaran said he had "stepped aside" last night itself "in the interest of the party". All party cadres, members and support Dinakaran.

Munusamy also clarified that they were not eyeing the chief minister's post. They are protesting in Delhi.

His sentiments were echoed by AIADMK Amma MLA P Vetrivel, whom ANI quoted as saying that they would "never accept the decision". Are there more to come?

He also tries to assure harmony between the two factions. "Our struggle was only to keep Sasikala's influence away from the AIADMK", he says, adding that he does not want to be the reason behind the split in the party.

AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) is the name given to the faction of the party led by Panneerselvam while the other goes by the name AIADMK (Amma). He said that the ministers took the decision due to some fear or the other, but did not elaborate on the same.

Tamil Nadu minister Jayakumar claimed the decision was taken unanimously. While insisting that the meeting was purely official for "departmental" reasons, the Finance Minister said that the political upheaval was not discussed with the Governor.

Former CM O Panneerselvam's faction issues fresh demands even as EPS and co remain non-committal over seeking Sasikala and Dhinakaran's resignation.

Since the talks began between the two factions, Panneerselvam has been demanding that Sasikala and Dhinakaran quit the party. Dhivakaran's closeness to M Natarajan, who had a strained relationship with Sasikala, and statements insinuating the BJP's role in AIADMK fiasco, allegedly made Sasikala prefer Dhinakaran. He also held the post for a short time after Amma's death.

A day after some AIADMK ministers initiated unity talks with the Panneerselvam faction, the former Chief Minister made it clear that there can not be any unification if Sasikala and her family members remained party members. "They'll make him contest for the post", he added.

8 am IST: The TN unit of the BJP weighs in on the issue.

Amid moves to sideline him, Mr Dinakaran rushed back from Bengaluru without meeting his aunt as he had intended and called a meeting of legislators at the AIADMK headquarters in Chennai.

  • Leroy Wright