AIADMK merged: TTV Dinakaran camp to meet Governor on Tuesday
O Panneerselvam on Monday took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Sealing the merger between two factions of the AIADMK, Governor Vidhyasagar Rao administered the oath of office to a host of ministers including Mafoi Pandiarajan. Later in the evening, MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran visited Jayalalithaa memorial. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated O Panneerselvam and others who took oath of office on Monday.
I congratulate Thiru O Panneerselvam & others who took oath today. I hope Tamil Nadu scales newer heights of progress in the years to come.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 21, 2017
O Panneerselvam will also be the Finance minister of Tamil Nadu while Edappadi Palanisamy will continue as the Chief Minister.
Warring camps of the AIADMK finally merged on Monday with O Panneerselvam and Edappadi Palanisamy shaking hands to seal the deal at the party headquarters. The duo later addressed a joint press conference. Panneerselvam was also named the coordinator of AIADMK. The leaders said that reclaiming the AIADMK symbol was their first mission as a united party.
Edappadi Palanisamy and O Panneerselvam along with a host of AIADMK leaders visited Jayalalithaa memorial on Monday evening after the merger was announced. Both leaders paid respects to former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and M G Ramachandran. In February this year, Panneerselvam rebelled against Sasikala Natarajan creating a storm in Tamil Nadu politics from this very place. The AIADMK leaders visited Jayalalithaa memorial ahead of a cabinet reshuffle and swearing in at the Raj Bhavan.
At around 4.45 PM on Monday, O Panneerselvam took oath as Tamil Nadu's new deputy Chief Minister. Mafoi Pandiarajan, a Panneerselvam loyalist was also inducted into the cabinet.
The much awaited AIADMK merger was completed on Monday despite close to 17 MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran. Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy declared that O Panneerselvam will be the AIADMK coordinator apart from becoming the Finance minister. A note from the Governor's office said that Panneerselvam will be the Deputy Chief Minister.
A 'guiding committee' of 11 members was also announced at the joint press conference. Interestingly no mention of Sasikala Natarajan's ouster or expulsion was made. Panneerselvam, however claimed that she will be ousted from the party.
"No one can separate us. We are fulfilling the dreams of crores of cadres and going ahead with this merger. We will work to realise Amma (Jayalalithaa's) dream," said O Panneerselvam after the merger was announced.He also added that Sasikala Natarajan would be ousted from the party. "We will convene a General council where Sasikala will be removed," said senior AIADMK leader Vaithalingam. Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy said that the merger was in the greater good of the party. "Just like Jayalalithaa had said, the AIADMK will live for a hundreds years after her. We will work together towards it," he said.
TTV Dinakaran camps sees red
Legislators supporting TTV Dinakaran visited Jayalalithaa memorial late on Monday evening. MLAs said that they would meet the Governor on Tuesday morning.Dinakaran did not visit the memorial but tweeted about ill health and told the press that he would address the media on August 23.
MLAs from the TTV Dinakaran camp lashed out at the other AIADMK members. Nanjil Sampath, a Dinakaran loyalist slammed Palanisamy and Panneerselvam for attempting to distance Sasikala Natarajan. Two more MLAs joined the meeting at TTV Dinakaran's residence taking the number of MLAs supporting him to 18. "We have always wanted a united AIADMK but tell us why Sasikala Natarajan should be ousted? The men in power were chosen by her. Do they not know what gratitude is? Let them explain to us why Sasikala should be ousted," asked C R Saraswati of the Dinakaran camp.
TTV Dinakaran is said to have consulted with legal experts to plan his next course of action of Sasikala is removed from the party general secretary post.
BJP hand behind 'opportunistic' AIADMK merger says CPM
CPM politburo member Prakash Karat termed the merger of AIADMK factions as opportunistic and alleged that the BJP was behind it.
"The opportunistic decision by the two factions, at the behest of BJP. will be rejected by the people of Tamil Nadu," he told reporters at the airport in Chennai.
The CPM leader said that joining hands with 'communal forces' like BJP will be dangerous to AIADMK and also the people of Tamil Nadu, "who will totally reject this opportunism.
"Merger of AIADMK factions won't benefit people: Kanimozhi
The merger of two AIADMK factions would in no way be beneficial to the people of Tamil Nadu, DMK MP and the party's women's wing leader Kanimozhi said on Monday. Moreover, the people had not voted for these leaders and the continuation of the government itself was doubtful, she said.