Chennai, April 19: A lot is happening in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazakham (AIADMK) as the talks of merger between the O Panneerselvam faction and the E Palaniswamy faction gather pace. The E Palaniswamy faction of the AIADMK is now divided over whether or not should jailed party General Secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew and Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakarn be removed. On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister D Jayakumar announced that Sasikala and her nephew Dinakaran will be ‘delinked’ from the party. However, soon after, several MLAs came out in support of Sasikala and Dinakaran and denounced Jayakumar’s statement.
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam had put forth a condition that a merger between the two factions would take place only if Sasikala and Dinakaran were ousted from the party. On Tuesday, Panneerselvam yet again demanded a probe into the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa. OPS said that Sasikala had betrayed Amma and that she and her clan should not be part of the AIADMK. OPS said that Amma had removed Sasikala and Dinakaran from the party and therefore, they should not be part of the AIADMK.
Earlier on Monday, both the EPS faction as well as the OPS faction said that they were not averse to the idea of coming together. Both the factions agreed to the fact that the unity could get them the ‘two leaves’ symbol of the party.
The merger talks began soon after the RK Nagara bypoll was cancelled by the Election Commission on account of bribery of voters and ‘illegal practices by candidates and parties’. The Delhi Police Crime Branch issued an FIR against Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dinakaran for allegedly offering a bribe of up to Rs 60 crore for the ‘two leaves’ symbol. reports say that the Delhi Police has also issued a lookout notice against Dinakaran.
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister C Vijayabaskar is in the Income Tax net after raids on his premises. Reports say that the raids on the premises of one of Vijayabaskar’s aides unearthed a plan of Rs 89 crore being distributed to voters ahead of the RK Nagar bypoll. Following the raids, the Election Commission cancelled the RK Nagar bypoll, that was earlier scheduled for April 12.