In a dramatic turn of events, the K Palaniswami cabinet today revolted against AIADMK (Amma) Deputy general secretary T T V Dhinakaran and decided to keep him and his family out of the party and the government.
Emerging from a "consultative" meeting chaired by Chief Minister E K Palaniswami, Finance Minister D Jayakumar declared that the "unanimous" decision was taken in tune with the aspirations of the party cadres and people.
"A decision has been taken to fully keep away Dhinakaran and his family from the party and the government," he told reporters tonight.
He claimed it was the desire of all party cadres, top functionaries, district secretaries, MPs, MLAs, and the Ministers.
A committee will be formed soon to run the day-to-day affairs of the party, he said.
Dhinakaran, who was expelled from the AIADMK by Jayalalithaa, was reinducted by Sasikala and appointed the party's deputy general secretary just before she proceeded to Bengaluru to serve the remnant of her jail term after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction and sentence in a disproprtionate assets case in February this year.
Replying to a question, Jayakumar, however, said the decision was not linked to the demand of rebel leader O Panneerselvam that party general secretary V K Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran be kept away as a pre-condition for talks for merger of the rival factions.
Jayakumar, flanked by several Ministers, said still they were prepared to hold talks with Panneerselvam.
Senior Ministers including Dindigul C Srinivasan, S P Velumani, RB Udayakumar, Thangamani, C Ve Shanmugam Rajya Sabha MP V Vaithilingam were present.
The sudden announcement by Jayakumar came after efforts for the merger hit a hurdle with Panneerselvam insisting on his demand for the ouster of Sasikala, Dhinakaran and their family from the party and the government.