'420' apt word for Dinakaran, says Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswami

"Dinakaran's appointment as Deputy General Secretary is illegal as per the party rules".

This came amid reports of hectic negotiations between two factions of the AIADMK - one led by chief minister E Palaniswami and the other by former CM O Panneerselvam. "We look forward to the commission holding a hearing in a week's time with both camps and nullifying Sasikala's appointment", said a senior leader of the OPS faction. They have endorsed Sasikala's appointment as party general secretary and mine as well.

Earlier on Thursday, Tamil Nadu minister D. Jayakumar expressed confidence over the merger of EPS, OPS factions of the AIADMK and said he hopes it happens soon.

Before her arrest, then chief minister Panneerselvam was locked in a power tussle with Sasikala sparking a political crisis on who will be late J Jayalalithaa's successor. An AIADMK Amma meeting chaired by Chief Minister Palaniswami said Dhinakaran can not hold any party post as he was not a member continuously for the past five years."We are keenly watching the political situation". It was during his absence that EPS reportedly strengthened his position in the party and emerged as a real threat to Dinakaran. The merger, being facilitated on Modi's wish, is expected to take shape formally after they return from New Delhi on Friday night or Saturday. Dhinakaran is nephew of jailed party chief V K Sasikala.

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The "apt word for him is 420", ANI reported Palaniswami as saying about Dinakaran. It was a massive triumph for the BJP which had bitten the dust against the same Mahagathbandhan in the 2015 Assembly election in Bihar - an event which was seen as a blow to the authority of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who bagged an emphatic victory at the Centre the year before. Sasikala was not just an aide to Jaya, but the mover and shaker within the party and the government.

If EPS moves an inch, Dinakaran will put down his government because he has 37 MLAs with him.

Four months have passed since Team EPS announced the ousting of TTV Dhinakaran from the party and yet the delay in merger.

The warring AIADMK factions in Tamil Nadu are likely to plan a merger as they look for ways to avert certain defeat in the next round of elections, amidst a chorus of protests from within and outside the party factions over the open abuse of democracy by the ruling party. Probably, the BJP wouldn't mind the government falling and going to fresh elections although the risks are very high because the present government is highly unpopular.

  • Sonia Alvarado