Stalled negotiations on the merger of the two AIADMK factions picked up again on Thursday after a meeting presided over by Mr Palaniswami questioned the appointment of TTV Dhinakaran as the AIADMK's deputy general secretary.
Chaired by the chief minister, originally a loyalist of Sasikala, the meeting is seen as his most categorical assertion in party affairs since taking over the reins in February this year amid reports that the merger of the two factions could take place before August 15. On the other hand, EPS knows that if he loses the CM position, Kongu community would be thrown out of the party by Team OPS and Sasikala's family and hence the dilemma.
Though Sasikala was later convicted in his disproportionate assets case, her fielded member E Palaniswami became the CM of the state.
The resolution by the EPS faction comes amidst speculation that a merger with former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam's party AIADMK (PTA) is on the cards. "He can not hold any party post since he was not a party member for a continuous five years", said the resolution.
OPS also wants ousting of Sasikala's family in written and a CBI inquiry into Jayalalitha's death.
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At that time, AIADMK Amma which is under de facto control of Palaniswami filed an affidavit before the Election Commission endorsing Sasikala's appointment as interim general secretary until the general council elects a full-time GS.
The ruling faction has now virtually ousted Dhinakaran, besides invalidating the recent appointments made by him. "For sure, all steps will be taken for party growth". But the very next day at least three MLAs who were offered new post by Dinakaran in various wings of the party declined to bite the bait and threw in their lot with Chief Minister Palaniswamy. Sasikala was not just an aide to Jaya, but the mover and shaker within the party and the government.
The "apt word for him is 420", ANI reported Palaniswami as saying about Dinakaran. "But how long will they survive?"
Thursday's resolution also stated that Dinakaran can not hold any position in the party, according to its bylaws, since he had failed to maintain his primary membership for five years following his ouster by J Jayalalithaa, the party leader who died in December 2016.
"We are keenly watching the political situation".