A year after Jayalalithaa: How the AIADMK drama unfolded
Following her death a year ago, Jayalalithaa's AIADMK has taken tumultuous turns and is now a far cry from the organisation that she has caressed. Jayalalithaa's demise brought with it uncertainty and a clear vacuum of leadership. Here is a timeline of how things unfolded for the party after Jayalalithaa's demise.
Fall of a titan
On Dec 5, 2016, 68-year-old Jayalalithaa passed away following a cardiac arrest. She was being treated at the Apollo hospital in Chennai for 75 days prior to her death.
Panneeraelvam was made the CM hurriedly
On the same day, within minutes of Jayalalithaa's demise being made public, O Panneerselvam, popularly known as OPS was swiftly sworn in as Chief Minister. A whole new cabinet took oath sobbing.
Sasikala Natarajan becomes the AIADMK chief
On December 29, 2016, the party leaders decided to make Sasikala Natarajan, Jayalalithaa's closest aide, the General Secretary of AIADMK. A resolution is passed unanimously at party's general council sans Sasikala.
Pannerselvam pushed to the corner
After taking over as the party chief it becomes obvious that a single person is to head the party and government. On February 5, 2017, Pannerselvam resigned as Chief Minister paving way for Sasikala's elevation. Sasikala is elected as the head of the AIADMK legislature party and decides to stake claim to form a government. While then Governor C Vidyasagar Rao accepts Panneerselvam's resignation, the latter is asked to continue until a new Chief Minister is appointed.
The revolutionary meditation
A calm Panneerselvam sat meditating by Jayalalithaa's memorial on February 7, 2017. When he finished, he began the revolt in AIADMK. A split in the AIADMK became real with many MLAs taking Panneerselvam's side. Jayalalithaa's party was split.
Sasikala herds AIADMK MLAs
Anticipating the possibility of OPS garnering more support, Sasikala Natarajan and TTV Dinakaran take more than 120 AIADMK MLAs taken to a resort near here apparently to prevent any defections to the OPS' camp. Some MLAs escape from the Koovathur resort to join Panneeraelvam camp. Meanwhile, public sympathy grows for Panneerselvam.
Sasikala gets convicted in DA case
On February 14, the Supreme Court set aside the Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting Sasikala in a 19-year-old disproportionate assets case. Before heading to the Bengaluru central prison to serve her sentence Sasikala Natarajan expels Panneerselvam and 19 other senior leaders and appoints Edappadi K Palaniswami as head of the AIADMK legislature party.
Palanisamy becomes Chief Minister
Following Panneerselvam's resignation, Palanisamy takes oath as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu on February 16, 2017. The following day OPS camp announces expulsion of Sasikala and her two relatives T T V Dinakaran and S Venkatesh from the party.
Floor test that ended in drama
On February 18, EPS wins confidence vote by 122 to 11 votes amid high drama in the assembly. DMK's M K Stalin walked out with a torn shirt accusing the marshals of assaulting his party legislators. The DMK as well as the OPS camp launches stirs.
Fight for Jaya's legacy
Split into two, the EPS faction of AIADMK nominates T T V Dhinakaran as the candidate for the RK Nagar bypoll scheduled for April 12. E Madhusudanan was OPS's candidate.
Two leaves frozen
The EC on March 22 froze the 'Two leaves' election symbol of AIADMK and stops rival camps from using the party symbol as well as its name for the bypoll. EPS camp gets "hat" as its symbol and AIADMK (Amma) as name while
Panneerselvam camp was allotted 'electric pole' as its symbol and named as AIADMK (Puratchithalaivi Amma).
EC countermands RK Nagar polls
On April 9, the EC cancels the bypoll over the alleged use of money power to influence voters. Within days TTV Dinakaran is booked by the Delhi Crime Branch over allegations of attempting to bribe election commission officials to get the Two leaves symbol. Dinakaran is arrested and lodged at the Tihar jail.
When state politics met centre
The months of July and August saw a series of meetings between Palanisamy, Panneerselvam and central leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi individually. The opposition parties accused the centre of fuelling political unrest in Tamil Nadu.
The grand AIADMK merger
On August 17, chief minister Palanisamy ordered a judicial inquiry into Jayalalithaa's death paving the way for a merger with Panneerselvam camp. Within days the Two warring factions merged and conveniently ousted Sasikala Natarajan and her family from the party.
EC grants party symbol
The election commission of India, after a prolonged trial, decided that the name AIADMK and the symbol should belong to the merged Palanisamy and Panneerselvam camp of the party.
R K Nagar bypoll to be held
A year after Jayalalithaa's death, bypolls have been rescheduled in her constituency of RK Nagar. The constituency will go to poll on December 21 and the fight is between AIADMK, DMK and TTV Dinakaran.