Minutes after announcing the merger of their factions, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam headed to the memorial of former AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and paid floral tributes.
Chennai: AIADMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister by Governor C.Vidyasagar Rao at the Raj Bhavan. "No one can separate us, we are children of Amma (J Jayalalithaa), and we are brothers", said Mr Panneerselvam, who shook hands with Mr Palaniswami in a joint appearance at the AIADMK's headquarters in Chennai as they announced the move to reunite.
At a time when the two factions are inching closer to a merger, AIADMK deputy general secretary and Sasikala's nephew Dinakaran recently sacked by chief minister from the party post, has threatened to activate the "sleeper cells" and destabilize the party and government.
Besides him, former Minister Mafoi Pandiarajan has been given the portfolios of Tamil Official Languages and Culture and Archeology.
As per AIADMK party bylaws, the general secretary can not be removed by a resolution passed by a committee or group of office bearers.
"As rivals factions of ruling AIADMK on Monday made a decision to merge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured all support to Tamil Nadu government for the growth of the state".
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Vaithyalingam, who spoke against family rule at the merger ceremony, announced that the AIADMK General Council will meet soon to remove Sasikala, who was appointed General Secretary by the same body after Jayalalithaa died on December 5 previous year. Two days after her conviction on February 18, Edappadi K Palaniswami was sworn in as Chief Minister, a decision which left the OPS camp disappointed.
Such being the case, any overt action against Sasikala might provoke deposed deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran, he feared.
Feb 14: The Supreme Court convicts Sasikala setting aside the Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting her in a 19-year- old disproportionate assets.
Earlier on Monday, 17 AIADMK MLAs, the supporters of TTV Dhinakaran, had reached his Besant Nagar residence for a meeting, according to ANI. O Panneerselvam who was the interim chief minister, when Amma was in the hospital, was removed by Sasikala.
August 21: The two factions of the AIADMK merged.
Soon after the announcement of merger Panneerselvam said, "Amma's blessings and wishes of party cadres made it possible".