The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear Sasikala's review plea against her conviction in the disproportionate assets case. In the process, it now has a vice-like grip over the united AIADMK, which is well aware of the threat to the stability of its government from a bruised Dhinakaran who purportedly has about 20 MLAs with him. Mr Panneerselvam, who was allocated the key portfolio of Finance, held by him earlier, besides plum portfolios, was later sworn in by Tamil Nadu Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao, along with Ma Foi K Pandiarajan, re-inducted into the Cabinet, in a simple, but brief function held at the Raj Bhavan. For the first time since it was founded in 1972, the party will have two power centres.
Further hardening the stand against Dhinakaran, an August 10 meeting chaired by Palaniswami said his appointment went against party bye-laws, setting the stage for a formal merger.
Yesterday, Panneerselvam had said that talks on the merger of the factions were going on smoothly and a positive result was expected in a "day or two". Two special wreaths were also kept ready apparently to enable Palaniswami and Panneerselvam to offer their respects at the burial site.
Surprisingly, Sasikala's nephew TTV Dinakaran, who both factions want ousted, had demanded a judicial probe into Jayalalithaa's death.
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Born on July 14, 1951, Panneerselvam was a close aide of Jayalalithaa and is one of the founding members of the AIADMK. They also paid tribute at the memorial of AIAMDK founder and late chief minister M G Ramachandran popularly known as MGR.
Addressing media in Rajapalayam, he said an accord has been reached following talks between the two factions.
Following the merger now the path is paved for AIADMK to became a partner with NDA also after forming an alliance with BJP.
The formula worked out for the merger has Paneerselvam as Deputy Chief Minister and party convener, while E. Palanisamy continues as Chief Minister with the tag of joint-convenor of the party. Ever since Sasikala walked out of the party activities, Panneerselvam wanted to stick back to AIADMK. Sasikala's critics have sought to blame her for Jayalalitha's death in Chennai in December previous year following a prolonged illness.
That was not announced today but party sources said it will happen soon. "Heading to party office, expect good news", S Semallai, the leader of OPS faction, said.