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AIADMK merger: Enough of faction wars, now focus on governance

The likely merger between the EPS-OPS factions in the ruling AIADMK is a positive sign. Once the merger takes place, expect TTV Dinakaran and his group to be further sidelined

editorials Updated: Aug 10, 2017 16:00 IST
Hindustan Times
A poster of a magazine displaying the picture of Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his rival O Panneerselvam on the two leaves depicting the AIADMK party symbol, Chennai. (File Photo)(PTI)

Unpredictability is the new normal in Tamil Nadu politics — especially in the ruling AIADMK. Last May when former chief minister J Jayalalithaa defied anti-incumbency and won 134 of the 234 seats in the assembly, the AIADMK appeared unassailable. But today, and after Jaya’s demise in December, the party has split into three groups and the cadre is demoralised. This uncertainty and confusion is affecting governance.

Given this, news about the talks of a merger between two factions within the AIADMK is a positive one. Reports suggest that the Tamil Nadu chief minister Eddapadi Palaniswami’s faction and the one led by former CM O Panneerselvam are in talks and a merger is likely. Once this takes place, the TTV Dinakaran-led faction could be further sidelined.

The priority for the party should be to regain the all-important ‘two leaves’ symbol. By gaining this the EPS-OPS (as both leaders are called) combine will also have an edge over the TTV faction, which has the support of some legislators and cadre. Once this is achieved, the state government could approach the Election Commission to hold the much-delayed bypoll to the RK Nagar assembly constituency, which has been left vacant by Jaya’s demise.

The EPS-OPS merger is expected to bring much-needed clarity to the cadre and, more importantly, the government. Political stability is a prerequisite for investor confidence and economic progress.

Tamil Nadu is the second richest state (GDP wise) in India and area wise is bigger than South Korea — yet it does not have a full time governor. The Centre can help on this front.

The likely merger of the two factions in the AIADMK is a good sign and should help put the focus back on administration. The people need a government that focuses on their needs — and not one caught in dousing intra-party wars.

First Published: Aug 10, 2017 16:00 IST