The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) faction led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has announced on Thursday that the appointment of TTV Dinakaran, a nephew of V K Sasikala as deputy general secretary is invalid, in a step towards a possible merger with O Panneerselvam faction in the party.
Dinakaran, on the other hand, said that the Palaniswami faction has no authority to decide on his appointment and such a decision cannot be taken by a few people. When asked whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is putting pressure on the AIADMK leaders to take such a decision, he said nobody is putting pressure.
After an hour long meeting chaired by Palaniswami, the AIADMK (Amma) faction announced that the appointment of Dinakaran is illegal and according to the party law. He cannot hold the post since he was not in the party member for continuous five years, which is a prerequisite to holding a major position in the party. The resolution also sought the party members to reject the appointments by Dinakaran.
The appointment of Sasikala as General Secretary itself was under the Election Commission's scrutiny. The Commission is examining the issue raised by former chief minister O Panneeselvam, who held that her appointment was improper and invalid.
The meeting was attended by 27 functionaries including senior ministers of the party. Speculations are that the leaders in both the factions are expected to meet in Delhi and the meeting and announcement is part of this discussion.
Dinakaran, in an interaction with the reporters in Thanjavur, said that the Palaniswami group's decision is not valid and they have misused the letter pad of AIADMK since they represent AIADMK (Amma) faction and not AIADMK. He alleged that the same leaders endorsed his position as deputy general secretary in an affidavit to the Election Commission related to the dispute on the party symbol and the other functionaries. The general secretary has the powers to appoint a deputy general secretary. He also alleged that the faction has been with him from his appointment as Deputy General Secretary from mid-February to April 10.
Dinakaran has earlier said that he would give time until August 4 for both the factions to unite and he would abstain from party works till the time. He was also booked by the central agencies related to an alleged attempt to bribe Election Commission related to the dispute on the party symbol.
However, some of the AIADMK leaders have backed Dinakaran stating that Palaniswami was appointed by Sasikala and Dinakaran as the Chief Minister.