In what came as a shock for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami, a number of MLAs supporting the party deputy general secretary, TTV Dinakaran, met Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao at the Raj Bhavan and withdrew their support to the government. The move came a day after Palaniswami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam set aside their differences and joined hands. After the merger, Panneerselvam was made deputy CM of Tamil Nadu.
Here are all the updates from developments in Tamil Nadu:
6:30 pm: That’s all the updates we have now on this story.
6.10 pm: “It is not a merger. It is a commercial agreement reached for self-interest and hunger for positions and to protect posts,” Dhinakaran charged.
6.00 pm: In a series of tweets last night, he also questioned the durability of the arrangement.
5.50 pm: Earlier, in his reaction to the merger, Dhinakaran dubbed it as a “betrayal” of party general secretary Sasikala.
5.40 pm: Vaithilingam, a loyalist of Palaniswami, had said steps would be taken for the removal of Sasikala from the AIADMK.
5.30 pm: In a related development, Dhinakran announced removal of senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithilingam from the primary membership of the party.
5.20 pm: “We have informed the Governor that we don’t have confidence in the Chief Minister,” Selvan said after the MLAs owing allegiance to Dhinakaran, nephew of jailed AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala, met Rao.
5.10 pm: Of the 234-member Assembly, the AIADMK has 134 MLAs excluding the Speaker. Late chief minister Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar constituency is still vacant. The DMK has 89 seats followed by its allies Congress with eight and IUML one seat.
5.00 pm: “We are going to initiate efforts to bring in a new CM with the help of our supporting MLAs,” Dhinakaran supporter and Andipatti MLA Thanga Tamil Selvan told reporters following a meeting with Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao a day after the patch-up between the camps led by Palaniswami and rebel leader Panneerselvam.
4:50 pm: Indianexpress.com reports that there is a possibility that a no-confidence motion can be called only in October because the last one was called in April. As per rules, six months have to lapse between two motions.
4.45 pm: The split ensued after Ramachandran’s wife Janaki was appointed chief minister and Jayalalithaa claimed the support of the cadres.
4.40 pm: “But today, the cadres cannot digest the merger which is accompanied with the announcement that steps would be taken to expel the general secretary (Sasikala) who was accepted by themselves,” he claimed, adding that it was a “betrayal”.
4.35 pm: Dhinakaran tweets came hours after the factions merged and Panneerselvam, who had challenged Sasikala’s leadership, was appointed the deputy chief minister and his close aide K Pandiarajan a minister.
4.30 pm: Dhinakaran, nephew of Sasiakala, said he was suffering from sore throat and fever and had been advised rest and would meet media tomorrow.
4.25 pm: “Only god knows how long this (merger) will hold. In 1989, in deference to the wishes of cadres, Amma (late chief minister Jayalalithaa) was accepted as the general secretary and all united under her leadership,” Dinakaran had said.
4.20 pm: Dhinakaran was referring to the then reunification of the party after a split following the death of AIADMK founder and late chief minister M G Ramachandran in December 1987.
4.15 pm: Dhinakaran claimed not only the AIADMK cadres, but even the public would not forgive “those who betrayed the general secretary who made Pannerselvam and Palaniswami the chief ministers after the death of Jayalalithaa”.
4.10 pm: Charging that it was Panneerselvam who was instrumental in the freezing of the AIADMK symbol, he sought to know how
the cadres would accept it.
4.05 pm: “How can they (Palaniswami camp) join hands with Panneerselvam who till yesterday was branding the regime ruling the state as corrupt,” he said.
4.00 pm: “It is not a merger. It is a commercial agreement reached for self-interest and hunger for positions and to protect posts,” he claimed.
3.55 pm: Stating that his political journey would continue, Dinakaran had vowed to protect the party and retrieve its “Two Leaves” symbol which has been frozen by the Election Commission ahead of the now cancelled April 14 byelection to R K Nagar Assembly constituency.
3.50 pm: Sidelined party Deputy General Secretary T T V Dinkaran dubbed the merger of two factions of the AIADMK as a “betrayal” of party general secretary V K Sasikala.
3.45 pm: Earlier, Dhinakaran broke his silence on the sudden developments leading to the merger of the factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam yesterday.
3.40 pm: This is a clearly scripted story from Delhi: DMK Spokesperson R Kannan on AIADMK merger
— India Today (@IndiaToday) August 21, 2017
3.35 pm: After the merger, one of the leaders of Palaniswami camp R Vaithilingam had said that steps would be taken to expel Sasikala by the General Council, a key demand made by Panneerselvam.
3.30 pm: AIADMK Drama : 19 MLA’s of TTV Dhinakaran supporters meet TN Governor:
3.25 pm: Watch | 1 day after AIADMK merger, MLAS want fresh vote of confidence, want a new Chief Minister
— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) August 22, 2017
3.20 pm: A look at the numbers: The AIADMK needs atleast 117 votes to remain in power in 234-member strong Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. Currently, excluding the seats of House Speaker’s and Jayalalithaa, the two-leaf party has 134 seats in the Assembly.
3.15 pm: What is the problem? Let them go to Pondicherry!: P.Vetriivel,Dinakaran-Sasikala camp on question of MLAs being moved to a Puducherry resort
3.10 pm: Earlier in the day, OPS and EPS were in for a shocker as a third rival unit, claiming loyalty to TTV Dinakaran, revolted against the party and pulled back their support.
3.05 pm: In his letter to the Governor, Stalin, the Leader of Opposition, stated: “As a leader of Opposition, I request the Hon’ble Governor to direct Thiru Edapadi K Palaniswami to prove his majority in the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly immediately.”
3.00 pm: Citing an “unprecedented constitutional crisis”, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president MK Stalin said the present government under Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami has lost majority in the House.
2.55 pm: Earlier in the day, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president MK Stalin on Tuesday wrote to Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao seeking a floor test in the Assembly, Indianexpress.com reports.
2.50 pm: After DMK leader Stalin demanded a floor test, at least 15 of the 19 MLAs backing TTV Dinakaran are being shifted to Puducherry, Indianexpress.com reports.