Ideology or Income tax raids, what united the AIADMK?

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Ministers of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy's camp have been claiming that they want a united AIADMK to 'fulfil Amma's dream'. While the phrase sounds like it is all about ideology, the truth may be quite different. MLAs such as Nanjil Sampath who stands by TTV Dinakaran has claimed that the AIADMK leaders have been 'threatened' to revolt against Sasikala and Dinakaran. It may be recalled that the spark of revolt within the Sasikala camp lit up only after the income tax raids at Vijaya Bhaskar's residence.

Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy

"We will support the party and government led by Dinakaran. The MLAs have been threatened to revolt. We are not scared of the BJP like those ministers," Sampath said while speaking to the media on Wednesday. He was exiting Dinakaran's residence. Most political observers in Tamil Nadu believe that the push for a merger came about after ministers came under the radar of Income tax department.

A document reportedly to have been unearthed during the raids on Vijaya Bhaskar's properties held names of ministers in-charge of localities within the R K Nager bypoll and the money supplied to them to 'bribe' voters. Names of ministers Velumani, Thangamani and even Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy were on the document.

MLAs supporting Dinakaran claim that the ministers have decided to revolt against Sasikala and Dinakaran after being threatened with income tax raids influenced by the BJP. The BJP in Tamil Nadu has, however, laughed off the allegations. "It is obnoxious to hold BJP responsible," said state BJP chief Tamilisai Soundaraj while reacting to allegations on a television channel.

The sudden push for the merger after the raids and the party's desperation to unite the AIADMK even at the cost of Sasikala and her family has raised speculations of whether the raids pushed the AIADMK ministers towards a merger. It was the fear of the income tax and not ideology that managed to stitch up the party.

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