AIADMK merger likely this weekend, VK Sasikala may exit

Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami during a meeting with ministers and party's senior leaders at party's headquarters in Chennai

Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami during a meeting with ministers and party's senior leaders at party's headquarters in Chennai

The meeting is expected to be attended by Senior ministers including KA Sengottaiyan P Thangamani, SP Velumani, Dindigul C Seenivasan, D Jayakumar and other key functionaries.

Dinakaran takes on Palaniswami, asks if everyone else appointed by Sasikala can continue, why can't he. As per the agreement, the post of the Chief Minister would be continued by Palaniswami and the ministers would continue in their posts. The Panneerselvam faction insists on Sasikala's ouster for a merger to take place. He questioned Sasikala's elevation.

Days later, Sasikala claimed stake to become the states Chief Minister.

However, the state soon witnessed a series of events leading to EPS's ascension to the CM chair as party general secretary VK Sasikala, who was seen as the natural heir of Jayalalithaa and was waiting to be the CM, ended up in jail following her conviction in the disproportionate assets case. A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Palaniswamy at the party headquarters in Royapettah chose to overrule the elevation of Sasikala's nephew as party deputy general secretary as null and void. While leaving the post of Sasikala untouched, terming it as an interim arrangement, the resolution said the appointment of Dinakaran as deputy general secretary, who was expelled from the party once by Jayalalithaa, is not acceptable. The major challenge before Palaniswami is to ensure the survival of his government.

However, he was arrested for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official to buy (for his faction) the "frozen" two leaves symbol of the AIADMK during the RK Nagar polls.

The talks failed and both factions chose to contest the bypoll separately.

The AIADMK merger talks between the two factions is heading towards its final phase.

The bypolls were suspended after the cash-for-votes scandal.

April 18, 2017: The Panneerselvam faction said negotiations were underway and that the Palaniswami group had created a committee to conduct talks on the merger. Till now, Dhinakaran held the position of deputy general secretary in the party.

Chennai: It has been in the works for months but the two factions of Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK have agreed in principle to merge and an announcement may come as early as next week, sources said today.

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