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