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AIADMK factions in merger talks, rival DMK looks to move no-confidence motion

DMK’s working president Stalin alleged that the AIADMK was in utter confusion and thus unable to deal with the problems of Tamil Nadu while also losing the people’s support.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2017 18:21 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami during a meeting with ministers and senior leaders at the ruling AIADMK party headquarters in Chennai on August 10, 2017. (PTI Photo)

Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party DMK said on Friday that it would move a no-confidence motion against the government as soon as rules allowed it amid mounting speculation of a merger between two warring factions of the ruling AIADMK.

Rules stipulate a gap of six months between moving no-confidence motions in the assembly. The DMK had last brought such a motion in February.

“The AIADMK is busy in fighting within itself and ignoring the people’s problems,” DMK working president Stalin told reporters.

Stalin alleged that the AIADMK was in utter confusion and unable to tackle any of the issues facing the people such as a spate of farmer suicides, the problems of Tamil fishermen and the protests around the common medical entrance test, NEET. The party is also losing the support of the people the DMK leader alleged.

This came amid reports of hectic negotiations between two factions of the AIADMK – one led by chief minister E Palaniswami and the other by former CM O Panneerselvam.

On Thursday, Palaniswami sacked party general secretary TTV Dinakaran in a move seen as purging the influence of his jailed aunt Sasikala from the party. Dinakaran’s removal and scrapping all appointments made by him appeared to smoothen the way for a merger.

But negotiations appear to be stuck at the Panneerselvam demand of sacking Sasikala from the party and government. Sasikala, the chief of the ruling AIADMK faction, is in jail on corruption charges. After a day of hectic developments on Thursday, there was no further murmurs from either camp on Friday.

The DMK has repeatedly criticised the merger talks and said they were being fanned by the BJP, which wants to expand its footprint in the large southern state where it is a fringe player. The BJP is said to want the unified AIADMK to join the NDA, helping the ruling coalition at the Centre to expand its influence in Parliament.

The AIADMK is the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha and among the largest in the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA is still in a minority.

First Published: Aug 11, 2017 14:39 IST