Chennai, Aug 21: Decks are cleared for the merger of two factions in AIADMK — one led by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and the other led by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam — on Monday, said party officials.
AIADMK factions helmed by E.Palaniswami and O.Panneerselvam announced merger.
Former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam sworn in Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister.
A Raj Bhavan announcement also said that former Minister K. Pandiarajan will be sworn in as Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture.
The statement said Panneerselvam would be designated the Deputy Chief Minister and allocated the Finance portfolio.
— ANI (@ANI) August 21, 2017
O.Panneerselvam will be the convener for this party (AIADMK), said CM E.Palaniswami after the merger. He stressed that their first priority will be to retrieve the two leaves symbol and to fulfill all the promises made by Amma.
CM E.Palaniswami also announced that he will be co-convener and K. P. Munusamy will be deputy co-convener.
Had few difficulties in recent times,similar to what happened after MGR's demise,but both OPS & EPS came forward to unite party: KP Munusamy pic.twitter.com/A13z5j5k6v
— ANI (@ANI) August 21, 2017
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswamy and his predecessor O. Panneerselvam reached the AIADMK headquarters here on Monday, taking the most decisive step in the merger of the two factions of the party that split after J. Jayalalithaa died.
Hectic parleys preceded the arrival of the two leaders at the party office, to sort out the last-minute differences that were delaying the merger.
Two senior ministers and a senior MP who are supporters of the Chief Minister went to Panneerselvam’s residence on Monday with a draft of the deal worked out between the two sides.
Panneerselvam was received enthusiastically at the party headquarters by AIADMK cadres who presented him stoles and bouquets. It was his first visit to the office after six months.
Hundreds celebrated the occasion by bursting firecrackers.
Panneerselvam was accompanied by his faction leaders including K.P. Munuswamy and K. Pandiarajan.
Before his arrival, Chief Minister Palaniswamy held discussions with his colleagues including ministers K.A. Sengottaiyan and D. Jayakumar.
There are indications that the two leaders may come out with a joint statement soon.
Panneerselvam has demanded the expulsion of the now jailed Jayalalithaa aide V.K. Sasikala before a merger takes place.
Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao arrived here on Monday afternoon for a possible swearing in ceremony in which Panneerselvam and some of his faction leaders may be sworn in as ministers.
Panneerselvam, who was thrice Chief Minister, may get the Deputy Chief Minister’s post.
Meanwhile, the faction headed by T.T.V. Dinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew, has warned against his own and Sasikala’s sacking as Deputy General Secretary and General Secretary of the AIADMK. Dinakaran is said to enjoy the support of a dozen MLAs.