TTV Dinakaran, AIADMK deputy general secretary and nephew of party leader VK Sasikala lodged in a Bengaluru jail, seems to lose his political ambition after an FIR has been lodged against him by Delhi Police for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials through a middleman to obtain the party’s two-leaves poll symbol. While the talks of the merger of AIADMK’s ruling Sasikala faction with the rebel group led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) is on the peak, the former has cleared that “Dinakaran must go,” reports The Indian Express quoting sources. According to them, the political party is discussing a number of scenarios to “safeguard” the party and government in Tamil Nadu including the merger that may happen with OPS being made the finance minister and given a key party post.
While the talks of the merger were surfaced, a rift appeared to have emerged within the ruling party with two groups of ministers holding separate meetings on Monday. In one meeting, there were about 20 ministers who had previously asked Dinakaran to step down. After the meeting, they described OPS and Edappadi Palaniswami as “brothers” and welcomed the option of a “merger.” The other group was of about three ministers gathering at Housing Minister Udumalai K Radhakrishnan’s residence.
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Meanwhile, OPS indicated that he is open for talks on a merger but at the same time, sources from his camp said they were exploring other options as well including a large-scale defection from the ruling faction. On Monday, it approached the EC with a petition to dispose of the case relating to appointment of Sasikala as the party’s general secretary, which it had challenged.
However, leaders in both factions did not favour to bring down the government. Instead they have three priorities at the time that includes “safeguard the government, escape the wrath of the BJP-led Centre and retrieve the symbol,” said ruling party leader.
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In Delhi, the alleged middleman namely Chandrasekhar has been transferred to police custody for eight days by Special Judge Pratibha Chowdhry.