A decision on the merger of two main factions in the AIADMK will be announced later on Friday, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said here. The Panneerselvam faction will be taking stock of the announcements made by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Thursday: setting up a judicial commission to inquire into the death of then Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and converting her Poes Garden residence into a memorial. The AIADMK broke into three factions after Jayalalithaa’s death in December last year. The first to revolt against the party’s General Secretary and now jailed V.K. Sasikala was Panneerselvam. The other two factions that emerged later are led by Chief Minister Palaniswami and Deputy General Secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran, a nephew of Sasikala. The Panneerselvam faction had laid three conditions for an AIADMK merger: keeping out Sasikala and her family members, ordering a judicial probe into the death of Jayalalithaa and converting Jayalalithaa’s residence into a memorial. Some days back the Panneerselvam faction passed a resolution declaring the appointment of Dinakaran as Deputy General Secretary as “improper, unacceptable and invalid”.
The resolution was challenged by Dinakaran, who is said to have the support of around 20 legislators. The resolution also said that Sasikala’s own appointment as General Secretary was under the scrutiny of the Election Commission. The Palaniswami faction claims that the major demands of Panneerselvam faction have been met after Thursday’s announcement. It is speculated that Panneerselvam would become Deputy Chief Minister and some members of his faction would be given ministerial berths. But members of the Pannerselvam faction discounted this. “The government will be under Palaniswami and the party will be under Panneerselvam. The party will be run by a Coordination Committee,” a leader in the Panneerselvam faction told IANS. “The days of a single tall leader like M.G.R. and Jayalalithaa who held sway are over in the AIADMK,” he added.