AIADMK merger: PM Modi hails merger, assures all help to TN government

Tamil Nadu's EPS govt in minority after 19 Dinakaran MLAs withdraw support

Immediately after the merger, Panneerselvam announced that Sasikala would be removed as AIADMK's general secretary. The cabinet expansion will take place at 5 PM today and the new list have the supporters of Panneerselvam.

With this merger, the state, which was facing an environment of political uncertainty since the death of Jayalalithaa, can expect political stability.

By conceding these key demands of the Panneerselvam camp, the process of unification got a fresh impetus and following several rounds of deliberations, the merger came through. This was nearly a repeat of what happened last Friday.

Mar 22: The Election Commission issues an interim order freezing the "two leaves" election symbol of AIADMK; says the two rival camps can not use the party symbol as well as its name for the by-poll. As per recent updates, the portfolio of finance will be given to Panneerselvam, and he will be made deputy chief minister.

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Fifty "ambulatory vans" are working in flood-hit areas to attend to sick animals and 196 veterinary doctors have been deputed. NDRF teams also distributed 6400 water bottles, 6200 food packets and 2237 persons were provided medical assistance.

Within hours of the merger, Governor Ch Vidhyasagar Rao administered the oath to the two Ministers at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan, taking the strength of the Edappadi ministry to 35.

"What was the compulsion to accommodate Panneerselvam who was responsible for splitting the party, freezing the party symbol and one who voted against the AIADMK government?"

Chief Minister Palaniswami will be the Joint Coordinator.

While Panneerselvam later tweeted that a huge burden was off his chest, the uneasiness among the AIADMK leaders was palpable when the merger announcement was made. The effect of such a climbdown by OPS would open up the way for merger between the two major factions of the party, leaving only the Sasikala faction in the cold. In any case, she had been sidelined for all practical purposes and her appointee and deputy general secretary TT V Dinakaran had been declared persona non grata. Two days later, on February 7, Pannerselvam revolted against Sasikala and said he was forced to resign from the post. "The general council, which appointed her, will be convened to remove her from the post", he told reporters. The former AIADMK chief's niece, Deepa Jayakumar, has not only questioned Palaniswami's decision of a probe into Amma's death but has also opposed the move to convert her residence into a museum. He has secured his position for now in the party as the all-important coordinator of the steering committee. 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.

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