AIADMK factions merge, OPS made Deputy CM

Raj Kamal Rao

The two factions of AIADMK have merged. According to the new terms of the merger, O Panneerselvam will be Tamil Nadu’s Deputy Chief Minister and Edappadi K Palaniswami will continue as the Chief Minister.

In addition to being Deputy CM, Panneerselvam will also be made convener of the party. And an eleven member coordination committee will be formed to run the party.

Chennai: AIADMK senior leader and highways minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (second from right) along with party seniors.  Photo - PTI

Chennai: AIADMK senior leader and highways minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (second from right) along with party seniors.
Photo – PTI

“I will work as an ordinary member. We have united bowing to the wishes of lakhs of AIADMK workers to turn Amma’s dreams into reality,” Panneerselvam said after the merger.

Announcing the merger, CM Palaniswami said that he will work to strengthen the party cadre on the lines decided by former CM J Jayalalithaa.

“Our first priority will be to retrieve the two leaves symbol. We will fulfill all the promises made by Amma: E Palaniswami after the merger,” Palaniswami said.

O. Panneerselvam

O. Panneerselvam

The merger was announced on Monday afternoon. The announcement was made after former Panneerselvam and Palaniswami met in the AIADMK head office.

Both leaders held detailed discussions in the party office before announcing the merger.

Soon after the merger, Palaniswami inducted O Panneerselvam as his Deputy and accommodated Panneerselvam aide K Pandiarajan in the cabinet.

A release from the Raj Bhavan said Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has on the recommendation of the Chief Minister inducted Panneerselvam and Pandiarajan in the state cabinet.

The Governor also accepted the recommendation of Palaniswami to designate O Panneerselvam as Deputy Chief Minister, the release said.

Meanwhile, the faction headed by TTV Dhinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew, has warned against his own and Sasikala’s sacking as Deputy General Secretary and General Secretary of the AIADMK. Dinakaran is said to enjoy the support of only a dozen MLAs.