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TN still in turmoil

TN still in turmoil

The Tamil drama unfolding since last year intensified as Speaker of Tamil Nadu Assembly, P Dhanapal, disqualified 18 MLAs from the TTV Dinakaran fraction of the AIADMK. As O Panneerselvam and Chief Minister E Palanisamy resolved their differences last month to forge an alliance in the Assembly, the Sasikala camp, now led by nephew Dinakaran was visibly sidelined. In the recently held General Council meeting of the AIADMK, resolutions were passed freezing the party symbol which has now been granted to AIADMK led by OPS and EPS. The meeting also officially declared the expulsion of Sasikala from the party adding that the post of temporary general secretary will now be forfeited. Differences were apparent in the EPS and Dinakaran camp since the last few months after Dinakaran had held a massive rally showcasing his strength which was attended by over 25000 party cadres and 18 MLAs. The dispute between EPS and OPS which had been occurring since February, when OPS had claimed he was forced to submit his resignation as CM, was resolved on the basis that Sasikala would be expelled from all party posts and OPS would be granted a significant position in the leadership of the State. OPS, now, stands as Deputy Chief Minister extending support and allegiance to EPS, who had assumed the role of Chief Minister after OPS's resignation earlier this year. The absence of a resolute leader like Jayalalithaa is being felt deeply by the AIADMK party who look out of sorts, tangled in internal conflict.

The Speaker's decision today sent out further ripples within the AIADMK as the expelled members were evidently outraged at the decision. Though the MLAs have been disqualified under the 1986 TN Assembly Members Party Defection Law, many question the basis for such expulsion. The Dinakaran faction had earlier met with the Election Commission requesting them to consider the last General Council meeting as null and void. Also, Vijila Sathyananth, of the Dinakaran faction, said with confidence in their motion that they would soon conduct a general council meeting of the party after receiving consent from their general secretary VK Sasikala. Though the last meeting declared expulsion of Sasikala, leaders of the Dinakar faction still hold her high regard though she is still in jail against conviction in a disproportionate assets case. The Assembly of 234 requires a majority of 117 MLAs. OPS and EPS have 113, as Dinakaran declared that his fraction would vote against EPS. This flip would provide impetus to the Opposition who would then hold the majority. TN has been a boiling pot of inconsistencies since Jaya's demise last December. The magnanimity of the leader, who is widely respected among Tamils, has created a deep vacuum in the AIADMK, which shows no immediate signs of containing itself. As the turmoil deepens, one hopes that citizens of TN do not face the brunt of inept leadership and inadequate consistency in their State.


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