Warring AIADMK camps set for merger: Here's all that has happened so far
The merger will likely allow E Palaniswami to continue as Tamil Nadu CM, while leader of the rebel faction O Paneerselvam may be given Deputy Chief Minister’s and crucial portfolios such as finance.
The two warring factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) are all set to merge, according to reports in the media.
The merger will likely allow Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami to continue in his position while leader of the rebel faction and former CM O Paneerselvam may be give the charge as Deputy Chief Minister and crucial portfolios such as finance.
According to a report by India Today, minister D Jayakumar said the merger may occur before August 15.
Here's a quick look at all that has happened so far:
December 5, 2016: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa died of cardiac arrest following more than two months of illness.
Within hours of her death O Panneerselvam was sworn in as new Chief minister.
December 29, 2016: VK Sasikala, a confidante of Jayalalithaa, was appointed as AIADMK's general secretary.
February 6, 2017: Panneerselvam resigned as Chief Minister, exactly two months after assuming office.
While resigning, Panneerselvam said that his 'conscience' did not allow him to continue. He questioned Sasikala's elevation. He also asked for a probe into the circumstances under which Jayalalithaa died.
Days later, Sasikala claimed stake to become the states Chief Minister. However, Sasikala was convicted and jailed by the Karnataka High Court in the disproportionate assets case.
Following her arrest, the Sasikala faction of the AIADMK nominated Edappadi Palaniswami to become the chief minister. Sasikala's nephew TTV Dinakaran was appointed the party's deputy general secretary.
February 16, 2017: The Panneerselvam faction failed to restrict Palaniswami from proving his majority during a floor test in the state assembly.
Talks between the two factions of the party started after the Election Commission declared the date for RK Nagar bypolls, a seat left vacant since Jayalalithaa's death.
The talks failed and both factions decided to contest the bypoll separately. None of the factions was allowed to use the AIADMK's official 'two leaves' election symbol.
The bypolls were suspended after the cash-for-votes scandal. Income tax officials alleged that the Sasikala faction of the party had paid Rs 89 crore to voters to support for its candidate TTV Dinakaran, who is also her nephew.
April 18, 2017: The Panneerselvam faction said negotiations were underway and that the Palaniswami group had created a committee to conduct talks on the merger. But, TTV Dinakaran's position as the deputy general secretary continued to be a sticking point during negotiations.
July 2017: Both factions of the AIADMK voted in favour of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind.
August 4, 2017: BJP president Amit Shah urged the warring factions to reconcile.August 10, 2017: Following a high-level meeting chaired by Palaniswami, the AIADMK said that TTV Dinakaran's appointment as the deputy general secretary is "illegal".