Chennai: In a dramatic turn of events, the K Palaniswami cabinet on Tuesday revolted against AIADMK (Amma) deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran and chose to keep him and his family out of the party and the government.
He said he wanted no confrontation with others to ensure it doesn't weaken the party and insisted "I will never go against" the AIADMK.
Terming the sudden rebellion by his partymen as a decision born out of fear, Dinakaran told reporters "they developed cold feet in the last few days". "This is our faction's first victory that Sasikala and her family have been ousted from the party", Panneerselvam told the media. The OPS factions have asked a probe in Jayalalithaa's death and stand by it even as the talks of unification are going on between the two camps. But police have in their custody Sukesh Chandrasekhar, the alleged middleman who was picked from a 5-star hotel in New Delhi on Sunday, a senior police official said.
Sasikala faction legislator Vetrivel questioned how a group of ministers discussed a patch-up without the consent of party Deputy General Secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran, a nephew of Sasikala.
The revolt followed Sasikala's attempt to grab power after Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's passing, by assuming the post of interim general secretary, a post that has not been provided for in the party constitution.
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Sasikala then installed Mr Palaniswami as Chief Minister and made her nephew Dinakaran the party No 2, keeping the rank of party chief for herself. Panneerselvam broke ranks with Sasikala in February, alleging he was forced to resign.
Dark clouds loom over AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran's political future after Delhi Police registered an FIR against him for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials, to regain the two-leaves election symbol for his faction locked in a bitter fight with former chief minister O Panneerselvam (OPS).
The ruling AIADMK faction "Amma", now operating under jailed Sasikala's guidance seems to be keen to regain the party symbol somehow by bringing back the O Panneerselvam faction without effecting any basic changes in the party or government. If they had called me for the meeting, I would have gone.
The poll body has frozen the AIADMK's two leaves symbol with two factions - one led by party General Secretary V.K. Sasikala and the other by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam - claiming it as their own. When persistently asked about their strength in the Assembly, Jayakumar said "Everyone including Chief Minister are on board".
They later welcomed rebel leader Panneerselvam's offer for talks on merger and made a decision to work out the modalities for taking forward the proposal. "Whenever you need me, I will come", he said.