Efforts at uniting the two AIADMK factions, one led by former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam and another by Chief Minister E Palaniswami, continue with Panneerselvam meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning.
Even as this exercise was on, 53-year-old T T V Dinakaran, nephew of V. Sasikala who is currently in jail in Bengaluru on charges of corruption, is holding a rally in Madurai to mobilise support for his faction of the party.
Panneerselvam told the media that the meeting with the PM was nothing but a courtesy call, but according to sources he discussed the hurdles he would face if the two factions of the AIADMK were merged. “We updated PM Modi about the political crisis in Tamil Nadu,” Panneerselvam said.
The BJP and the ruling NDA government have been pushing for an AIADMK merger between the two factions.
According to sources, Panneerselvam has been offered the post of Deputy chief minister, but he wants to hold the Home and Public Works Department portfolios too ~ currently held by the chief minister.
Dinakaran claims that he has the support of 16 MLAs, Panneerselvam has 11 MLAs and E Palaniswami has the support of 123 MLAs. It takes a majority of 118 MLAs in the legislative assembly to form the majority. If MLAs choose to jump to the Dinakaran camp dropping EPS’ numbers, then an AIADMK merger is inevitable.
Moreover, according to sources, BJP wants the merger to firm up before party president Amit Shah visits Tamil Nadu this month-end.