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Ministers’ Tiruchy meet, the harbinger of merger move

The fast-paced developments in the political equations of the AIADMK groups that came about after the RK Nagar by-poll were rescinded. The initial sign of merger was witnessed when Electricity Minister P Thangamani and Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani met each other in Tiruchy during their visit to Mannargudi.

Ministers’ Tiruchy meet, the harbinger of merger move
Usual crowd of supporters missing at Dinakaran?s house in Chennai


They went to condole the death of TV Mahadevan, the party Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran’s kin, who died recently.

Since the meeting happened late in the night, it was kept under wraps. It was the first indication of the former loyalists turning adversaries ‘to save the party from VK Sasikala’s family.’ The leaders who swore allegiance to Sasikala and through her to Dinakaran were sore over the revelation that the AIADMK (A) leader was willing to spend crores of rupees to get back the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol. Their meeting indicated that both the factions were planning for an AIADMK sans Sasikala and Dinakaran. 

Sources said that party seniors were for the merger as there was a chance for the party to turn into a family fiefdom, if Dinakaran manages to get the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol back. 

Top leaders of the Amma faction even urged Dinakaran to stay away from politics to save the party and sack Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar following the I-T raids on his premises. However, Dinakaran refused to listen to them, the sources added. 

“This merger move was due to the prevalent view that AIADMK’s public image has taken a beating and if not checked will only help the DMK, which, in turn, would be against the wishes of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa,” a former MLA seeking anonymity said. 

AIADMK(A) attempt to openly bribe voters leading to the RK Nagar by polls cancellation was the last straw.

Meanwhile, Dinakaran rushed to Bengaluru to consult with his aunt and party general secretary VK Sasikala, who was incarcerated in jail there. 

The O Panneerselvam group which has submitted its documents regarding 42 lakh party members has been anticipating a hearing with the Election Commission any time now. It may be recalled that Dinakaran sought two months time from the EC to submit 20 lakh documents in his support to claim the party symbol. However, AIADMK (PTA) spokesperson C Ponnaiyan said, “The time was being sought to fabricate documents in his support.” 

Talking to DTNEXT, he added, “We have received word through the grassroot party workers from the Sasikala group regarding a merger.” When asked about the charges of bribing EC officials by Dinakaran, he replied, “All party workers are with us. If our rivals think they can purchase the government and the EC with their ill-gotten gains, they will learn the lessons soon.”

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