Sasikala-led AMMK set to merge with AIADMK? BJP in key role as talks get underway

By: |
September 23, 2020 1:40 PM

The AMMK (Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam) is a breakaway faction of AIADMK, which was headed by then chief minister J Jayalalithaa before she passed away in December 2016. Sasikala was a close confidante of Jayalalithaa.

AIADMK-Sasikala merger: V K Sasikala-led AMMK could merge into the AIADMK ahead of the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu in 2021. Both the parties have begun talks on a merger, with the BJP playing a key role in bringing them together. The AMMK (Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam) is a breakaway faction of AIADMK, which was headed by then chief minister J Jayalalithaa before she passed away in December 2016. Sasikala was a close confidante of Jayalalithaa.

After the demise of Jayalalitha, Sasikala was elected as the secretary general of AIADMK. She was the lead contender for the top post in the state but her conviction in 2017 in a disproportionate assets case ended that possibility. In March 2018, former AIADMK leader and Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran formed AMMK and assigned the post of president to Sasikala.

Currently, Sasikala is serving a four-year jail term in the DA case with Dhinakaran in charge of party affairs of the AMMK in her absemce. The Indian Express today reported that two days ago, Dhinakaran travelled to Delhi and met top BJP leaders. According to the report, Dhinakaran has been promised “earliest release” of Sasikala if the talks are fruitful. It, however, said that Dhinakaran has demanded that his aunt be made the general secretary and he be given a key post.

The report suggests that the arrangement could be such where Palaniswami and Paneerselvam continue as CM, Deputy CM while the party reins are passed on to Sasikala. A senior AIADMK minister, as per the report, said the proposed division of powers would be agreeable to most party members, and that the BJP central leadership had been pressing for a merger for more than a year now.

“The BJP succeeded in its mission to ensure that there was no unquestionable leader in the party after Amma’s (Jayalalithaa’s) death. The Sasikala camp might be obliged to take up this offer to ensure there are no hurdles in her exit from prison. Edappadi too can hope to gain lost ground with the help of Sasikala. As everyone has an interest in it, this merger is likely to materialise,” the minister was quoted as saying by IE.

The Assembly election in Tamil Nadu is due to be held in 2021.

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