Merger possible only after Sasikala’s ouster: OPS

RSTV Bureau

Sasikala O Panneerselvam Tamil NaduAs the two warring factions of AIADMK talk of reuniting, former Tamil Nadu chief minister and party chief VK Sasikala’s rival, O Panneerselvam has made it clear that there can be no reunion until Sasikala and her nephew Dinakaran are ousted from the party.

Sources in the Panneerselvam camp revealed that they will join the talks only if the “Sasikala family is ousted from AIADMK.”

“The party and government should not be in the hands of a family. MGR did not even allow his brother (in party affairs). The party and government should not be in the control of a family as people will hate such a system,” Panneerselvam said.

Panneerselvam, who was expelled by Sasikala following his revolt against her in February this year, also remained firm on his faction’s demand for a probe into late J Jayalalithaa’s death.

We will not rest “till there is a judicial probe”, said Panneerselvam.

This comes a day after several ministers met in Chennai to discuss modalities of a possible merger between the two sides.

The Panneerselvam faction has challenged Sasikala’s elevation as party general secretary before the Election Commission. The former chief minister also submitted a petition to the poll panel on Monday.

TTV Dinakaran

VK Sasikala’s nephew and AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran

The former chief minister claimed that Sasikala was appointed General Secretary following Jayalalithaa’s death in “contravention” of party laws as a chief has to be elected.

“Our founder MGR (MG Ramachandran) and Amma (Jayalalithaa) created this party as one for the people and the cadre and this is a democratic organisation. If we don’t follow this path then it shall be an injustice to the people…This is our basic principle. AIADMK should continue on this democratic path laid out by MGR and Amma,” claimed the rebel.

Panneerselvam also accused Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran of committing “irregularities” in the run up to the now cancelled April 12 R K Nagar Assembly bypoll.

On Monday, Dinakaran was also booked for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official to claim the two-leaf symbol.

The two factions had staked claim to the two leaves symbol which the Election Commission subsequently froze.

The AIADMK suffered a split on February 7 when Panneerselvam alleged that he was forced by Sasikala to make way for her elevation as Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, the ruling Sasikala faction formed a team to hold talks with the other warring side.

(With inputs from PTI)