After just 48 hours of Tamil Nadu Finance Minister D Jayakumar’s announcement that AIADMK General secretary Sasikala Natarajan and her family would be sidelined from the party, MPs and MLAs from former CM O Panneerselvam’s camp have said that there would be no talks of a merger till some further demands they made are not met. The foremost among them is that proof should be provided that both ‘Chinamma’ and her nephew TTV Dinakaran have submitted their resignations from party posts. That there is a trust deficiency in the two factions still is clear from the reactions of top leaders. Speaking to The News Minute, former minister KP Munusamy alleged that the ‘Sasikala faction’ was staging a drama. He told reporters that the ruling faction had claimed to have removed Sasikala and family but still had not taken back the affidavit submitted to the EC which had stated that Sasikala and Dinakaran’s positions in the party. With so much uncertainty present in how the actual situation will ultimately pan out on the ground, we reveal here what we know so far:
1) K Munuswamy, senior AIADMK and OPS camp leader, put 2 demands in front of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniawami-Sasikala camp for the merger talks to take place:
a) the affidavit submitted by the camp to the Election Commission stating that both Dinakaran and Sasikala held certain positions in the party, must be taken back
b) Tamil Nadu government must initiate recommend a CBI probe into the ‘mysterious’ death of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
2) The O Panneerselvam camp has gone ahead with the talks of a merger with Chief Minister E Palaniswami’s camp till now, but the OPS camp is reported to have stalled the talks now till the ruling party officially comes out and proves that Sasikala and her kin have been ousted from the party.
3) V K Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran had earlier been ‘sidelined’ from the party. Finance Minister Jayakumar had given the statement to the media saying that 20 ministers had been involved in the decision and it had been unanimous.
4) O Pannerselvam had addressed the media on Tuesday, saying that the late CM Jayalalithaa’s legacy was of utmost importance and had urged for the unification of both factions. he had however questioned the elevation of Sasikala to the post of General Secretary, saying that it was invalid. He had claimed that both Sasikala and Dinakaran had been involved in corrupt activities.
5) On Monday, several ministers had met amidst reports that there might be a merger between the EPS and OPS camps. Following the meeting, Panneerselvam’s appeal for the merger had been ‘welcomed’ by the EPS group.
6) Earlier, AIADMK’s Deputy General Secretary Dinakaran had been named in a FIR filed by the Delhi Police Crime Branch under the charges of allegedly bribing for the ‘Two leaves’ symbol.
Tamil Nadu politics has been in a state of turmoil since the demise of Jayalalithaa and the state hasn’t recovered since. The AIADMK has been divided into two factions; the Panneerselvam camp and the Sasikala camp (Palaniswami camp after her arrest). This has made it difficult for the AIADMK to provide a stable government in the state.