oppn parties AIADMK Merger - Distant Possibility

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  • Supreme Court warns Rahul Gandhi to be more careful in future but drops contempt proceedings in the "chor" case
  • In a flip-flop, Vodafone CEO says sorry to the government, sys no plan to exit India
  • Sabarimala case referred to a larger bench as the court says several contentious issues need deeper examination
  • 16 killed as the vehicle they were traveling in plunged into a deep gorge near Jammu
  • Vodafone CEO seeks government relief, saying India operations on the verge of collapse
  • Three teenagers killed in a major accident in Kolkata's New Town area when their Honda City rammed into a road divider and a Metro pillar. The car was mangled
  • Vishwa Hindu Parishad not to publicly 'celebrate' Babri Masjid demolition day this year, all events will be closed door
  • JNU students march against the steep hike in fees, keep HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal stuck at the venue of the convocation
  • USFDA says Cytotron, an anti-cancer kit developed by Bengaluru based Rajah Vijay Kumar, is a "breakthrough device" for treating liver, pancreatic and breast cancers
  • Car sales show a minuscule uptrend after declining continuously for 11 months
  • Industrial output contracts by 4.3% in September, the worst decline in 8 years
  • Centre defends abrogation of Article 370 in the Supreme Court, says the power under it was used by the President six times previously
  • Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar admitted to hospital with lung infection, put on ventilator
  • Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant quits as Union Minister
  • National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met the leaders of both Hindus and Muslims in Delhi on Sunday to ensure peace and harmony is maintained after the Ayodhya verdict
Supreme Court dismisses plea for review in Rafale case, says no need for roving inquiry, maintains clean chit to government
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AIADMK Merger - Distant Possibility

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
With Sasikala in jail and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran being questioned by the authorities for trying to bribe EC officers, it was the perfect time for the warring AIADMK factions in Tamil Nadu to bury the hatchet and come together. For a time, it looked a possibility. But power is a great disrupter. O Panneerselvam (OPS), being the trusted aide of late Jayalalitha, thinks that he has the first right to power since Madam trusted him, not once but thrice. He feels that Palaniswami usurped the chair with Sasikala’s help.

The conditions that the OPS faction set were just red herrings designed to put pressure on the rival group. Actually, he covets the chief minister’s chair. But his plans got stymied when the state finance minister D Jayakumar said that he was willing to give up his post in an oblique signal that the Palaniswami faction would not yield the top job. The OPS faction seized on this remark and complained that the rival faction was not serious about the merger. It alleged that Palaniswami was asking his ministers to issue confusing statements to queer the pitch. The Palaniswami faction is also questioning the intent of the OPS group.

OPS has just 12 legislators with him. But they are a powerful group, having been there and seen all in state politics with the late Jayalalitha. They were trusted by her and their tentacles run deep in the state administration. Many senior officers are beholden to the OPS group for the position of eminence and power they find themselves in. The Palaniswami faction, on the other hand, has the power of possession, as in real estate. They are occupying the secretariat and will not budge. This makes things difficult for the merger. As of now, a merger is a distant possibility unless one of the factions gives in. The shape of the merger, if there is one, will also disclose Sasikala’s immediate and future hold over AIADMK.