Tamil Nadu’s ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Monday announced the merger of the two factions — one led by Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami
and the other by former chief minister O Panneerselvam.
The merged factions also decided to dismiss V K Sasikala
as the general secretary of the party.
Panneerselvam was sworn-in deputy CM and he will also hold the finance portfolio. Panneerselvam camp representatives were given Cabinet seats. Palaniswami
remains the chief minister. The leaders of the merged factions drove to Jayalalithaa’s and MGR’s memorials at Marina Beach, before heading to Raj Bhavan for the swearing-in of the new ministers. Panneerselvam was also made convenor of the AIADMK, while Palaniswami
will be the co-convenor. The Cabinet has been reshuffled as part of the merger.
had split into three after the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa
in December. The third was headed by Sasikala’s nephew T T V Dhinarakan.
The Dhinakaran faction, which has around 18 MLAs, did not attend the meeting. They were busy discussing the next course of action at Dhinakaran’s house, including taking legal steps and approaching the Governor.
Following the merger, the new Deputy Convenor, M P Vaithilingam, announced that a general council meeting would be held soon to dismiss Sasikala, who is in a Bengaluru jail after being convicted in a disproportionate assets case.
Sasikala’s dismissal was one of the two conditions put forth by Panneerselvam for the merger. The other condition was an inquiry into Jayalalithaa’s death. Last week, the Palaniswami
government had announced it would appoint a panel under a retired judge to conduct the probe. Political drama in the party began after Panneerselvam resigned from the party on February 5.