AIADMK, the story so far

AIADMK group to move away from Sasikala

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Reaching out to the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction, led by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s AIADMK (Amma) faction on Thursday decided to “nullify” T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s appointment as party deputy general secretary.

A resolution adopted at a meeting of the faction said the appointment was made against the party’s by-laws and asked the cadre to ignore Mr. Dhinakran’s directives. Mr. Palaniswami’s camp also indicated that it was keen on distancing itself from the jailed “interim” general secretary V.K. Sasikala.

However, Mr. Dhinakaran questioned the locus standi of Mr. Palaniswami and his supporters in ‘unseating’ him and insisted that he would continue in his post.

Mr. Panneerselvam said he saw this as a “half-way” mark traversed by the ruling faction, and that a merger between the two factions would reflect the wishes of the party’s grassroots workers and the people of Tamil Nadu. The resolution referred to the fact that the appointments of Sasikala and Mr. Dhinakaran were in dispute and had been referred to the Election Commission.

Mr Dhinakaran, who was expelled from the party by Jayalalithaa, had been re-inducted into the party and made deputy general secretary by Sasikala on the day she went to jail.

Attempting to send out a larger message through the resolution, the ruling camp said party workers would not like anyone to occupy the post of “permanent general secretary”— held by Jayalalithaa. It added that the party and the government were being run by “headquarters office-bearers, appointed by Jayalalithaa” under the party rule 20 (V).

The rule permits the office bearers nominated by the general secretary to remain in office, in the event of vacancy in the post of general secretary, till a new general secretary assumes office.

The move from Mr. Palaniswami’s camp appears to have opened fresh channels of communication with the AIADMK (PTA) for negotiating a merger and to isolate Mr Dhinakaran, who is heading the new faction with the deemed support of around 35 MLAs.

The AIADMK (PTA) has made a probe into Jayalalithaa’s death and expulsion of the Sasikala family prerequisites for negotiations on a merger.

Appointments questioned

The resolution, adopted at the Thursday morning, high-level meeting, chaired by Mr. Palaniswami and attended by 26 other party functionaries at the AIADMK head office, termed the recent appointments made by Mr. Dhinakaran to various positions in the party as “not permissible as per the party’s rules and regulations.”

K.A. Sengottaiyan, chairman of the party presidium and Dindigul C. Sreenivasan, treasurer, were among those who attended the meeting but as they have been appointed by Sasikala, they were not signatories to the resolution.

Contending that Mr Dhinakaran’s decisions — aimed at “creating unnecessary confusion” within the party — would not be binding on members of the party, the resolution urged party cadres to reject them.

Mr Dhinakaran had last week announced a list of 64 appointments to different positions in the party, including that of organising secretary. On Wednesday, he announced another round of appointments.

Membership requirement

Turning the heat on the deputy general secretary, the resolution, for the first time, publicly stated that the appointment of Mr. Dhinakaran was against Rule 30 (V), which makes a five-year membership of the party “without any break” a prerequisite for contesting for any post.

In this context, the resolution referred to Mr. Dhinakaran’s expulsion from the primary membership of the party in December 2011 by Jayalalithaa; his readmission on February 14, 2017 (by Sasikala) and his nomination as deputy general secretary the very next day.

Asked by The Hindu whether the resolution meant cutting off ties formally with Mr. Dhinakaran, the Chief Minister merely said “Please refer to the text of the resolution.”

Neither the Chief Minister not other members of his faction at the meeting answered queries from the media.


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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 6:35:57 PM |

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