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AIADMK merger by weekend; Sasikala’s exit likely

AIADMK

Chennai: Two factions of Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK have agreed in principle to merge and an announcement may come as early as next week, sources said on Thursday.

The AIADMK split earlier this year after a power struggle weeks after the death of J Jayalalithaa, former Chief Minister and the party’s powerful leader. VK Sasikala, who replaced her as party chief and tried to become chief minister before she was jailed for corruption, may be removed to facilitate the reunion.

The faction led by Chief Minister E Palaniswami or EPS met at the party headquarters in Chennai amid speculation that merger talks with the rebel camp of former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam or OPS are in the final stages.

EPS and OPS are likely to meet and finalise the reunion next weekend, as per sources.

A resolution adopted at a meeting convened at the party headquarters here said Dhinakaran was expelled by Jayalalithaa in December 2011 from the primary membership of the party. His reinduction into the party on February 14 and his appointment as deputy general secretary the following day were in violation of party bylaw 30 (V).

“Since he failed to continue as primary member for five years, he cannot hold any position in the party as per bylaws,” the resolution said.

The resolution, signed by 27 office-bearers including Palaniswami, was released to the media after the meet.

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