After many months of fighting, the AIADMK merger has finally become a reality. The AIADMK merger was announced today at the shore-side memorial of Ms. Jayalalithaa. Earlier, after J Jayalalithaa’s memorial at the Marina beach in Chennai was bedecked elaborately, there were speculations that AIADMK merger may be announced soon. Even before that, Chief Minister Palaniswami’s decision to conduct a probe into Jayalalithaa’s death had also fuelled speculations about the merger between the warring factions of AIADMK. One faction was led by Chief Minister E Palaniswami and the other by former chief minister O Panneerselvam. It was one of the demands of Panneerselvam’s faction to conduct a probe into Jayalalithaa’s death. Yesterday, the Chief Minister had announced that an inquiry commission headed by a retired judge would be formed to probe the death of Jayalalithaa.
Both factions had held talks today, which, according to political pundits, was the prelude to the merger. However, one of the most critical demands of Panneerselvam faction is that current party chief VK Sasikala should be removed from her post. Ms. Sasikala is currently lodged in a jail in Bengaluru and her orders are being executed by her nephew TTK Dhinakaran. It may be recalled that Sasikala and TTK Dhinakaran were both against the merger, since they stand to lose their control of the party if the merger occurred. TTK Dhinakaran had earlier said that he has the support of 40 MLAs and he would never allow the merger to happen.