A SPLIT­TING HEADACHE

India Today - - STATES - By Amar­nath K. Menon

E.K. Palaniswami has com­pleted 100 days as Tamil Nadu chief min­is­ter amid in­creas­ing un­cer­tainty and his party, the AIADMK (Amma), tee­ter­ing on the brink of im­plo­sion. That the present assem­bly may not last its full term un­til May 2021 was an in­creas­ingly real prospect for the leg­is­la­tors who re­sumed the 29-day bud­get ses­sion on June 14.

The rul­ing AIADMK fac­tion that Palaniswami heads is poised for yet another split, forced by the party’s deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary T.T.V. Di­nakaran, even as the ear­lier break­away group, AIADMK (Pu­ratchi Tha­laivi

Amma) led by for­mer chief min­is­ter O. Pan­neer­sel­vam, ruled out a merger. To em­pha­sise this, Pan­neer­sel­vam dis­banded the sev­en­mem­ber panel set up to work out the uni­fi­ca­tion with the Palaniswami fac­tion.

Both fac­tions have spo­ken of a pos­si­ble merger since April, but haven’t for­mally met. While Palaniswami vac­il­lated on Pan­neer­sel­vam’s pre­con­di­tions—a CBI probe into J. Jay­alalithaa’s death, ex­pul­sion of gen­eral sec­re­tary V.K. Sasikala and her nephew Di­nakaran and a check on their Man­nar­gudi family within the party— Di­nakaran re­sisted at­tempts to un­der­mine the Man­nar­gudi clan.

JAISON G

TWO ISN’T COM­PANY O. Pan­neer­sel­vam (left) with E.K. Palaniswami

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