Chennai, June 12 : Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Monday accused the ruling AIADMK faction of enacting a drama and said he was disbanding the merger negotiating team of his own group.
Panneerselvam told the media here: “After the setting up of the negotiation team, they started playing a drama. We were not ready to play any dramas.”
He said AIADMK cadres were with his faction and will be proved soon.
Former AIADMK MP K.C. Palaniswamy told IANS: “Now there are only two factions in AIADMK — anti-Sasikala (led by Panneerselvam) and pro-Sasikala. There is no other group led by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami.”
On Sunday night, Panneerselvam announced the decision to disband the seven-member team to negotiate the merger of the two factions in the AIADMK.
After the death of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in December, her close aide V.K. Sasikala took control of the AIADMK party by becoming its General Secretary. The party also decided to elect her as the Chief Minister.
Subsequently, Panneerselvam revolted against Sasikala and formed his own faction. He said the dismissal of Sasikala and Deputy General Secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran from the party were pre-conditions for a merger of the two factions.
The ruling faction said Dinakaran will be kept away from party affairs but remained silent on the demand for dismissing Sasikala and Dinakaran from the party’s primary membership.
Dinakaran was later arrested by Delhi Police in an alleged bribery case and is now on bail.
Elaborating on the decision to disband the negotiation committee, Palaniswamy — part of the Panneerselvam faction — said: “Dinakaran after coming out on bail said he would be active in the party. More than 30 legislators had gone and met him. But the ruling faction is silent on this.”
The ruling faction has filed affidavits with the Election Commission declaring Sasikala as the party’s General Secretary and Dinakaran as Deputy General Secretary.
“This comes despite announcing that Dinakaran will be kept out of party affairs,” Palaniswamy said, adding that the ruling faction did not call a meeting of the party’s General Council to dismiss Sasikala and Dinakaran from their party posts.
“After we announced formation of a negotiation committee, the anti-Sasikala mood seems to have gone down amongst the public. But with our decision to disband the merger negotiation committee, the anti-Sasikala mood will gain momentum,” Palaniswamy said.
The ruling faction of the AIADMK too had formed a committee to negotiate with the Panneerselvam group on a possible merger.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission will on June 16 be hearing the complaint filed against the election of Sasikala as General Secretary, Palaniswamy said.