In an internal coup within her own faction, AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala was on Tuesday ‘removed’ from the party, news channels India Today and Times Now reported. Along with Sasikala, her nephew and party’s deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran was also sacked from the party. As per India Today, the party leaders sacked both from their respective positions, but it is still unclear whether the two leaders have been completely removed from the party. As per the reports, MLAs and MPs came together to oust Sasikala and family from the AIADMK. Meanwhile, according to India Today, only 20-25 MLAs were left supporting Sasikala.
Here’s all what we know so far
– AIADMK chief Sasikala, who took over reigns of AIADMK after former supremo Jayalalitha’s demise, has been sacked from party. The development is likely to lead to a merger of O Panneerselvam and E Palaniswami-led factions of AIADMK.
– Earlier in the day, talks between both E Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam camps had reportedly hit a roadblock after the former rejected the demand of removing VK Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran from the party. Panneerselvam, the ex-Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, had said both must be removed for merger talks to continue – this pre-condition was made non-negotiable.
– Panneerselvam, while addressing the media on Tuesday, had said that Jayalalithaa’s legacy is of the foremost importance and asked both the factions to unite. However, he mentioned that Sasikala’s elevation as General Secretary was still invalid. As per a report by Times Now, Panneerselvam said that Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran are involved in corrupt practices. “Dinakaran was not even member of the party till Amma’s demise, elections for office-bearers of AIADMK was itself illegal,” he was quoted saying by the news agency ANI.
– In a dramatic turn of events, several state ministers in Tamil Nadu held a meeting on Monday night amid reports indicated that both AIADMK factions may merge to show a united face to the public. After the meeting, members of the E Palaniswami camp ‘welcomed’ O Panneerselvam’s appeal for me the ger of both camps.
– On Monday evening, it was speculated that MLAs belonging to Sasikala Natarajan and O Panneerselvam camps of AIADMK may hold a meeting on Tuesday and discuss merger of two factions, news agency ANI reported quoting sources. However, former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam has expressed his confidence that the TTV Dinakaran-led faction leaders would approach him for merger talks. However, when asked about the speculation on merger of the two AIADMK factions, and that he was going to be made “general secretary,” he said no one has approached him for it so far, PTI reported. “If approached, we are ready to sit and talk and I have confidence that they (leaders) will come (for talks),” Panneerselvam said.
– In a major jolt to AIADMK, party’s Deputy General Secretary T T V Dinakaran was on Monday named accused in the FIR filed by Delhi Police crime branch for allegedly offering bribe for the ‘Two leaves’ symbol’. Dinakaran, the deputy leader of the AIADMK faction-led by his jailed aunt V K Sasikala, was booked following the arrest of Sukesh Chandrasekhar, a middleman, from a five-star hotel here yesterday. “It has been learnt that Sukesh had struck a deal for Rs 50 crore for helping the AIADMK faction keep the ‘two leaves’ symbol. Police have recovered Rs 1.30 crore from Sukesh and two cars — a BMW and a Mercedes — have also been seized,” said a senior police officer.
With Agency inputs