AIADMK squabbles over Sasikala amid unity efforts

T T V Dinakaran

T T V Dinakaran

Senior ministers, including D Jayakumar and KA Sengottaiyan, who chairs the AIADMK presidium and had hitherto sided with Dinakaran, had questioned the beleaguered leader's locus standi to convene a meeting of legislators and the party's district secretaries.

On Wednesday night, the Delhi Police had served summons to him in the case.

Dhinakaran's alleged middleman, Sukesh Chandrasekhar, was arrested from Hyatt hotel in Delhi on Sunday night, and Rs 1.3 crore was recovered from him.

He also said the families of Dinakaran and Sasikala had undergone sufferings and also contributed to the party's growth.

He claimed that he had told Dhinakaran that he will get a favourable verdict from the Election Commission of India in the party symbol case, he said.

When Jayalalithaa died as Chief Minister, her live-in aide, Sasikala quickly appropriated control of AIADMK, a manoeuvre that appeared to have the backing of all party leaders.

On Thursday, following a meeting of MLAs and MPs, who pledged allegiance to former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, senior leader KP Munusamy announced that there could be no talks until Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran submitted their resignations.

Casting aside speculations that Panneerselvam has asked for the chief ministerial post as a precondition for the merger, Munusamy said "Neither had we asked for Chief Minister's post nor we asked for the general secretary's post". While addressing the media amid the rumours of a possible merger with the Sasikala faction, O Panneerselvam said that Jayalalithaa's legacy is the foremost for us and asked both the factions to unite.

He said they have group sought written proof that Sasikla and Dinakaran have been removed from the primary membership of the AIADMK and proof of withdrawal of their affidavit before the Election Commission. But Sasikala's conviction in a disproportionate assets corruption case in February led to a bitter battle between OPS and Sasikala resulting in her loyalist, Edappadi K Palanisamy (EPS), becoming chief minister.

He also said as everybody made a decision to keep him out of the party affairs, he has chose to stay out. The family might remain in the party even after Dhinakaran has left, with Sasikala's husband and other nephews joining the party later, he added. He claimed that the Palaniswami government was being controlled and influenced by Sasikala's family.

It will also have to decide who should be general secretary and whether his role vis -vis the Chief Minister should be redefined.

Munusamy also said that only Panneerselvam had the support of the people and the cadres and the rival camp was "afraid" that the majority of MLAs only favoured Panneerselvam for the Chief Minister's post.

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