Newswrap: 10 major developments on Sasikala and AIADMK front

New Delhi: The merger of the two factions of the AIADMK has finally taken place. As they two warring factions have united to be a part of the NDA family, problems appear to b escalating for Sasikala, who till the report was being filed, still is the AIADMK supremo. The two factions of the AIADMK on Monday merged, six months after they split following the death of then Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. Here are the 10 developments of the day:

1. Former Chief Minister O. Paneerselvam was made the Coordinator of the merged AIADMK. Chief Minister K. Palaniswami will be the Joint Coordinator, the Chief Minister announced at a brief function at the party headquarters here while announcing the merger.

2. Former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam will be sworn in Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister, it was announced on Monday.

A Raj Bhavan announcement also said that former Minister K. Pandiarajan will be sworn in as Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture.

The statement said Panneerselvam would be designated the Deputy Chief Minister and allocated the Finance portfolio.

3. The footage of a video submited by former DIG (Prisons) Roopa, who was the first one to raise her voice against the special status and facilities to the AIADMK chief Sasikala, is sure to ring in more trouble for some senior police officrs of the state and for Sasikala herself. The video shows that Sasikala is walking into the jail in salwar-kameez with a suitcase. The video has bn submitted as evidence to Anti Corruption Bureau. DIG Roopa was transfered from the prisons to the traffic for daring to expose the politician and in the process stepping on toes of some senior police officers and other bureacrats as well. 

4. The video clearly suggests she is re-entering jail in civilian clothesas other jail officials stand watching her. DIG Roopa had alleged that Sasikla had paid Rs 2 crore for getting special facilities in the jail. When she was summoned by the ACB Roopa submitted the video and other details as a proof thus vindicating her stand. 

5. In a major drama that unfolded after the prolonged illness and subsequent death of J Jayalalitha, Sasikala was all set to become the chief minister of Tamil Nadu before her move and ambitions were checked by the Supreme Court  which awarded her four-years-imprisonment. Though in prison Sasikala was given special treatment and was getting special meals, could leave prison every now and then, and had access to a cell kitted out with a flat-screen TV and other facilities.

6. Decks are cleared for the merger of two factions in AIADMK -- one led by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and the other led by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam -- on Monday, said party officials.They also said following the formal announcement of merger, the cabinet may be reshuffled inducting Panneerselvam as the Deputy Chief Minister and some of his faction members.

7. Governor C.V. Rao (holding additional charge in Tamil Nadu) is expected to be here for the swearing in. Prior to the merger announcement, the Palaniswami faction was expected to pass a resolution against AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala.

8. As per AIADMK party byelaws, the General Secretary cannot be removed by a resolution passed by a committee or group of office bearers. According to insiders, in order to overcome this hurdle and also to carry out the party affairs, a steering or advisory committee would be formed with representation from the two merging factions.

9. The decisions of the advisory committee has to be ratified at the general council meeting, said an AIADMK leader. According to party insiders, one of the moves that is being contemplated is to abolish the post of General Secretary on the pretext that late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa will be the party's permanent General Secretary.

10. This would be done by amending the party byelaws. But the main question is can the by-law be amended to take away the only power that a primary member enjoys? As per AIADMK constitution, the party General Secretary is elected directly by the primary members. The party has around 1.5 crore members.One of the basic condition laid down by the Panneerselvam camp for merger is that AIADMK should dismiss Sasikala and her family members from the party.The Palaniswami faction had declared the appointment of T.T.V. Dinakaran, Sasikala's nephew, as Deputy General Secretary as "improper, unacceptable and invalid". This was challenged by Dinakaran.Meanwhile following the merger of two factions, the Panneerselvam-Palaniswamy faction may get back the party's popular "two leaves" symbol which has been frozen by the Election Commission.

News24Bureau with Agencies