AIADMK factions merge, Panneerselvam sworn in as Dy CM, made Party Coordinator

What will become of the AIADMK merger

"All developments that took place today are an eyewash", he said, reacting to the decision of the merged party to sack the now jailed Sasikala from the post of General Secretary. OPS is the most popular AIADMK leader among the cadres now.

Reflecting the BJP's thinking, Gurumurthy has taken the view that the AIADMK should be purged of corrupt elements (hinting towards the Sasikala clan) and reunited to reclaim the frozen "Two Leaves" symbol so that it could align with the BJP whenever Tamil Nadu goes to the polls. Even as Palaniswami and Panneerselvam were paying tributes to Jayalalithaa, at least 15 MLAs were still present at the residence of TTV Dinakaran, the nephew of Sasikala who still leads a rival faction.

Both the leaders of the AIADMK faction announced the merger of the party from the party office.

August 18: Party leaders from both the factions held multiple meetings after which the O Pannerselvam faction said an announcement on the merger will be made on August 21, 2017. It is certain that doting aunt Sasikala was also in favour of replacing EPS with T.T.V. Dinakaran, who would not have made moves towards the chair without her backing.

Born on July 14, 1951, Panneerselvam was a close aide of Jayalalithaa and is one of the founding members of the AIADMK.

The OPS faction had also been pressing for a formula under which EPS could continue as chief minister while Panneerselvam would be named AIADMK general secretary. "Heading to party office, expect good news", S Semallai, leader of the OPS faction told ANI.

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AIADMK laws now do not permit the removal of a general secretary by a resolution passed by a committee or group of office bearers. Amid speculation of an imminent merger of the two factions, several AIADMK MLAs of both the groups had congregated at the mausoleum of Jayalalithaa at the Marina beach here. Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Palaniswami has left for Tiruvarur in Thanjavur district to take part in the MGR centenary function.

Though the merger was expected to materialise on Friday night, it did not come through amid reported divergent views among members of the Panneerselvam faction.

Following the merger the two sides would soon inform the Election Commission about the merger and withdraw their respective petitions and affidavits filed after the split.

Edappadi had agreed to take only two nominees from the OPS camp into his Ministry while Panneerselvam wanted former minister K Semmalai included as well.

In 2014, he took charge as the Chief Minister yet again as Jayalalithaa was convicted again in the same case.