Politics

Sasikala camp divided: Will leaders cross over to Panneerselvam camp?

17 Apr 2017 | Written by Anupama Vijayakumar; Edited by Gaurav Jeyaraman
Will AIADMK re-merge amidst mounting pressure?

In a dramatic turn of events in the ongoing political showdown in Tamil Nadu, official sources from AIADMK suggested, "few ministers and senior leaders from the Sasikala camp are likely to join the Panneerselvam faction in the coming days".

The information has come to light after a meeting at Panneerselvam's house on Sunday, believed to be attended by key persons.

In context: Will AIADMK re-merge amidst mounting pressure?

17 Apr 2017Sasikala camp divided: Will leaders cross over to Panneerselvam camp?

Second split since 1987

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has split ahead of elections for the RK Nagar seat, previously occupied by Jayalalithaa. The Party broke into AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) led by Panneerselvam and the AIADMK (Amma) led by Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran.
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Why is this important?

BackgroundWhy is this important?

Former CM Jayalalithaa's demise in December 2016 triggered a succession battle, making the state spiral into chaos, with factions led by her former aides Sasikala and Panneerselvam squabbling for top positions in the party and the government.

Crossover rumours come along amidst reports of deepening internal differences within the Sasikala camp following the cancellation of the RK Nagar by-election after the cash-for vote scandal.

Cash for vote: Election commission says time out

Documents seized in income tax raids against health Minister Vijayabaskar revealed that the Sasikala faction paid Rs. 4000 per voter with the aim of buying their votes spending a total sum of Rs. 89crore on the same. The Election commission cancelled polling following the revelation.

ReasonsWhat is causing cracks within the Sasikala faction?

The ruling faction, AIADMK (Amma) is under dual pressure. While leaders from within the party are said to be rebelling against Dhinakaran, a vocal DMK is pressuring the government on issues like farmers suicide.

Dhinakaran further faces resentment for throwing money in RK Nagar, attracting IT raids on health minister Vijayabaskar.

He faces pressure to drop Vijayabaskar and three other ministers from the party.

17 Apr 2017Dhinakaran charged for attempting to bribe the EC

Delhi Police on Monday has charged Dhinakaran for his alleged attempt to pay Rs. 50 crore to the Election Commission for the party's frozen two leaves symbol.

The allegations can further serve to deteriorate Dhinakaran's legitimacy within the Sasikala camp, making AIADMK merger more likely.

Responding to the charges, he noted, "these allegations are being spread to destroy the Party's name".

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19 Apr 2017AIADMK Amma ousts Sasikala and kin from party

Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK Amma party has expelled Sasikala and her kin "considering the views of the cadres and the public."

TN Finance minister D Jayakumar, echoed Panneerselvam's sentiments, saying "No one family can control the party and the government. It is the wish of late CM J. Jayalalithaa."

A new panel would also be formed to oversee the party's day-to-day functioning.

20 Apr 2017Panneerselvam faction puts preconditions for AIADMK merger

The AIADMK faction headed by former Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam wants the other faction to withdraw affidavits filed with the EC designating V K Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran as the general secretary and deputy general secretary.

They also want the TN govt to request a CBI probe into Amma's death.

Without fulfilling these conditions, they said no merger would be possible.

24 Apr 2017TN FM offers resignation as AIADMK merger talks begin

As both factions of the AIADMK began talks for a merger, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister D Jayakumar offered his resignation saying former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam could take over his portfolio.

He said, "If someone has to sacrifice for the welfare of the party, let it be me."

Cabinet Minister Dindigul C Sreenivasan said most of the current cabinet "would complete their full-term."