August 23rd, 2017
Showcasing their support for the recently ousted Deputy General Secretary, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, 19 MLAs in Tamil Nadu submitted their resignation letters to Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan, expressing lack of confidence in Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on 22 August, reported The Hindu.
As of now, the Palaniswami faction falls short of a simple majority by one seat.
The Governor was submitted 19 identical letters by the MLAs stating that the Chief Minister has “forfeited” their confidence and that of the public and hence they were withdrawing their support to him. The Governor was requested to intervene and initiate the constitutional process.
The recent political upheaval should be seen in the light of the merger that took place between the two factions in AIADMK on 21 August. Former Chief Minister, O. Panneerselvam was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after he merged his AIADMK (Puratchi Talaivi Amma) with Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s AIADMK (Amma) faction.
Panneerselvam would be in charge of the portfolios of Finance, Housing and Urban Development. A member of his camp, ‘Ma Foi’ K. Pandiarajan, was appointed Minister for Tamil Official Language and Culture. The portfolios of some other Ministers have also been shuffled.
A coordination committee has been set up with Mr Panneerselvam as chairperson and Mr Palaniswami as co-chair. One representative each from the two camps — former Minister K.P. Munusamy and organising secretary and Rajya Sabha member R. Vaithilingam have been made deputy chairpersons. The steering committee would comprise of 11 members.
The Panneerselvam camp had demanded for the removal of Sasikala as interim general secretary. A resolution would be adopted to this effect at a meeting of the party general council to be called soon; the media was reportedly told.
Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam appeared to be happy about the merger and claimed that it has acted as a fitting blow to the sceptics who had not expected the two factions to come together.
The unified party now aims to face its political adversaries in all elections in future.
Before the swearing-in procedure, the two leaders visited the Marina to pay homage jointly at the memorials of Jayalalithaa, M.G. Ramachandran and C.N. Annadurai.
The AIADMK had split in February after Mr Panneerselvam revolted against Sasikala and alleged that he was forced to quit. Eleven more legislators followed suit. His faction came to be recognised by the Election Commission as the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma), whereas the other group was called the AIADMK (Amma).