Since Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha passed away late last year, the fate of the party she headed has been in a shambles. But now, a merger of rival factions seems to be on the cards.
Since Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha passed away late last year, the fate of the party she headed has been in a shambles. AIADMK is split down the middle with rival factions of the party, each headed by an Amma loyalist, staking claim to the chief ministership.
The strife in the party resulted in the formation of two factions, one headed by O Panneerselvam retaining the old name AIADMK with the addition of Puratchi Thalaivi Amma as a suffix.
The other party was initially headed by Jayalalithaa's aide VK Sasikala. But with the Supreme Court's decision to put Sasikala behind bars in disproportionate assets case, the obvious choice became her nephew TTV Dhinakaran, who became the party’s deputy general secretary.
However, in a development this week, a merger is on the cards after Chief Minister EK Palaniswami’s camp held an impromptu meeting to discuss the political situation.
Another important decision that was taken during this meet was to oust Dhinakaran from all the posts he was holding in the AIADMK and strip Sasikala of the general secretary post.
This happened after 20 ministers in the Tamil Nadu government decided to remove VK Sasikala and her family from the AIADMK 'unanimously'. A lookout notice against Dhinakaran has also been issued as there was a tip-off that he may try to leave India in connection with allegations that he tried to bribe Election Commission officials to get the AIADMK's two leaves symbol.
Amid the fight, will other parties have a chance to rise?
DMK is leaving no stone unturned to cash in on this opportunity. The party is looking for a grand alliance and the party’s working president MK Stalin has reached out to People’s Welfare Front (PWF) to bring on board the party and its constituents including VCK, CPI and CPM.
The healthy relationship between Stalin and Thol Thirumavalavan of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) may benefit the party in gaining voter confidence.
Sasikala’s elevation had bothered many along with Jaya's niece Deepa Jayakumar, who floated a new party called MGR Amma Deepa Peravai.The Bharatiya Janata Party, after a stellar win in four states out of five in the assembly elections, is trying to make a strong case in Tamil Nadu. The state unit of the party is led by doctor-turned politician Tamilisai Sounderajan.