AIADMK merger likely today; DMK terms it 'BJP-engineered' move

Posted August 22, 2017

Feb 16: Palaniswami sworn in chief minister.

Sasikala had initially expelled Mr. Panneerselvam from the party, shortly after he had revolted against her, and later Mr. Madhusudanan.

Palanisamy, who had earlier cancelled his scheduled visit to AIADMK head office, met Panneerselvam at the party head office on Monday afternoon.

August 18: Party leaders from both the factions held multiple meetings after which the O Pannerselvam faction said an announcement on the merger will be made on August 21, 2017.

PM Modi took to twitter to congratulate the AIADMK. The fear was that the two would once again act as authoritarian as they did when Jayalalithaa was still alive and in the emotional grip of Sasikala.

Soon after the merger, Dhinakaran, who is said to have the support of about ten MLAs, chaired a meeting with supporters to discuss the next course of action. He also thanked Palaniswami for taking efforts in uniting the two factions.

The merger came about after Panneerselvam dropped the key demand for the complete removal of Sasikala. By pushing the decision, Palaniswami felt there was a danger to the government and wanted time to persuade legislators supporting Dinakaran to jump boats.

"I had informed that the merger talks are already progressing smoothly". Panneerselvam will be the convener and Palaniswami the co-convener of the AIADMK. "This, they felt, will defeat the very objective of merger and strengthen Dinakaran", the official claimed. This was later given to KA Sengottaiyan, who is even senior to Palaniswami in the AIADMK. December 6: O. Panneerselvam sworn-in as chief minister of the state.

There is the growing prospect of the AIADMK joining Prime Minister Narendra Modi's coalition government. "That's why the insistence", said a senior leader on condition of anonymity.

Today chanting the slogan of 'one mother, one party and one family', both the factions merged together. A 15-day notice had to be given for a meeting of the general council. However, Monday morning was not without its last-minute drama.

Meanwhile, AIADMK members supporting Sasikala held special prayers for her welfare in various temples in Tamil Nadu, a party leader said.

However, the merger is no guarantee that it would be a smooth-sailing for the AIADMK.

Reflecting the BJP's thinking, Gurumurthy has taken the view that the AIADMK should be purged of corrupt elements (hinting towards the Sasikala clan) and reunited to reclaim the frozen "Two Leaves" symbol so that it could align with the BJP whenever Tamil Nadu goes to the polls. After over six months, the former TN CM returned to the party headquarters on Avvai Shanmugham Salai at Royapettah with his supporters.