Sasikala to Be Expelled From AIADMK, OPS to Be Deputy CM

For many, the end of O Panneerselvam’s rebellion has come as a major disappointment.

2 min read
Sasikala to Be Expelled From AIADMK, OPS to Be Deputy CM

In a dramatic announcement, Rajya Sabha MP Vaithilingam told the media and AIADMK members gathered at the party headquarters in Chennai that general secretary VK Sasikala would be expelled from the party.

Vaithilingam added that the General Council would be convened soon and Sasikala would be removed from the post.

This was one of the primary demands of the O Panneerselvam’s faction for a merger. On 21 August, though OPS was supposed to reach the AIADMK office at noon, the merger was delayed by several hours as no assurance had come from Palaniswami’s side.

Though the demand of expelling Sasikala seems to have been met, it was a tame end to the dramatic rebellion launched by former Tamil Nadu CM Panneerselvam six months ago.

Catch all the live updates on AIADMK merger here.

Just weeks after he ruled out any possibility of a merger of the two AIADMK factions, OPS settled to become the Deputy Chief Minister under Palaniswami. He will also handle the portfolios of Finance Housing and Urban Development.

Besides him, former Minister Mafoi Pandiarajan has been given the portfolios of Tamil Official Languages, and Culture and Archaeology.

Mafoi had been school education minister till February, when he defected to the OPS camp. S Semmalai had been Health and Education Minister from 2001-2004.

For many, the end to OPS’s rebellion has come as a major disappointment. After all, even as late as 2 August, OPS had said that all department of the EPS government are corrupt.

And on 10 August, the OPS faction was set to hold a protest against the EPS government’s inefficiencies, with a focus on the NEET controversy, drinking water shortage, and dengue epidemic.

However, at the last minute, the protest was postponed to 18 August, and then postponed again indefinitely as the merger began to crystallise.

The former Chief Minister’s repeated statements seemed to suggest that he would settle for nothing short of taking over the government.

OPS’ acceptance of EPS’ rule, therefore, has reportedly awoken voices of dissent within the OPS camp who believe that OPS’ appointment as Deputy Chief Minister is a compromise.

While there have been attempts from the EPS’ faction to sideline Sasikala’s nephew, TTV Dhinakaran, the ousted deputy general secretary refuses to be easily pushed aside, and claims the loyalty of around 20 MLAs.

For the AIADMK, this is a dangerous number, as the DMK holds 99 seats in the Assembly, and can topple the government if the TTV faction sides with it.

(This article was originally published on The News Minute.)

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