Chennai, August 21 (The Hindu/newsin.asia): Six months after the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, the All Indian Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) split, the two factions, the Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (PTA) headed by former Chief Minister O. Paneerselvam, and the other, AIADMK (Amma), headed by current Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, merged on Monday.
“We have taken the decision to work together keeping in mind the wishes of AIADMK cadres,” said AIADMK (Amma) leader and Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami.
“Today is a historical day. We have given a fitting reply to our detractors. Our aim is to fulfill the dreams of our leaders,” he added.
The faction lead by TTV Dhinakaran (the Sasikala Natarajan faction) with the support of 18 Members of the Legislature, have been left in the cold. Sasikala herself is in prison in Bengaluru serving a sentence for corruption.
“Steps will be taken to remove AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala by convening the General Council meeting,” senior party leader R. Vaithilingam MP said.
O.Panneerselvam becomes Dy.CM
O.Panneeselvam was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister in the new cabinet while Edapadi Palaniswami remained Chief Minister.
Panneersevam, a trusted lieutenant of the late AIADMK leader J.Jayalalithaa, had been acting CM three times before.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Deputy CM, O. Panneerselvam and others who took the oath; and assured support to Chief Minister Palaniswami and his government.
“I congratulate Thiru O Panneerselvam & others who took oath today. I hope Tamil Nadu scales newer heights of progress in the years to come. Centre assures all possible support to CM Thiru Edappadi K. Palaniswami & Dy CM Thiru O Panneerselvam for the growth of TN,” PM Modi tweeted.
Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said that a date for a meeting of the General Council to remove V.K. Sasikala from the post of General Secretary will be announced soon.
Meanwhile TTV. Dinakaran leader of the Sasikala faction said that all decisions taken by a body not convened by General Secretary Sasikala are null and void.
Dinakaran said that his faction will prove its strength in the State Assembly but added that it will not move a Motion of No Confidence against the Palaniswami-Panneerselvam government.
(The featured picture at the top shows Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam after the merger of their AIADMK factions)