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Rift between political leaders on Jayalalithaa's health/ 2017

B Sivakumar, Stalin attacks me as he fears DMK will lose RK Nagar bypoll, Panneerselvam says, Mar 29, 2017: The Times of India


DMK's working president M K Stalin: Why Jayalalithaa had not been provided medical treatment outside India?

OPS: Even though I was in charge of the govt, I didn’t have any power, even to see Amma in the hospital

I wanted Amma to be taken to the US, but Sasikala and family refused for that, said OPS

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O PanneerselvamFormer Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam

CHENNAI: The DMK fears that it will lose the April 12 R K Nagar byelection+ and that is why party's working president M K Stalin is "raising several issues against me," said former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam.

"The summer heat is increasing each day. Apart from this the campaign heat is also increasing in R K Nagar as our candidate E Madhusudanan has got good response from the residents. Stalin fears that the DMK candidate will not win in the bypoll. That is why Stalin is attacking me," said Panneerselvam+ at a press meet in his residence. Claiming that people's support is only with AIADMK faction led by him, Panneerselvam said the DMK has lost the support of people and they could not dream of winning the R K Nagar bypoll+ .

Stalin+ wanted to know why Jayalalithaa had not been provided medical treatment outside India. Panneerselvam said, "Even though I was in charge of the government, I didn't have any power, even to see Amma in the hospital. I spoke party leader and Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai about taking Amma to the US for treatment. He also asked Sasikala family members but they told him that Amma was being given the best treatment possible and that there was no need for her to be taken out of the country." "I told health minister C Vijayabaskar that we will have to take back Jayalalithaa to her residence in good shape. If something happens to her, the party cadre will not leave us alone and they will attack not only us but also our residences. But the minister did not say anything on this," said Panneerselvam. Stalin had asked when OPS would come out with the 90% of secrets against Sasikala, Panneerselvam said the 90% of the secrets are about the steps taken by Sasikala and her family to bring about a break in my friendship with Jayalalithaa. "All these happened from 2006 onwards. These are personal and it is about me alone. That is why I am saying that the 90% will be with me," he said.

Asked about the corruption charges raised by Stalin, Panneerselvam said the DMK had no moral right to talk about corruption. "2G and Aircel Maxis cases are some of the big corruption cases in the country. In all such cases DMK leaders are involved. What right has DMK or Stalin to talk about corruption," said Panneerselvam.

A split

Jaya Menon, Battle for Amma's legacy turns out to be a fight for survival, Mar 24, 2017, The Times of India


In a repeat of almost 30-year-old history, AIADMK party faces similar situation with the party symbol being frozen by the EC.

This time it is a fight of political survival for both T T V Dinakaran and O Panneerselvam.

MGR at 1982 Asiad in Delhi, flanked by wife Janaki (R) and Jayalalithaa.MGR at 1982 Asiad in Delhi, flanked by wife Janaki (R) and Jayalalithaa.

CHENNAI: For many in AIADMK, it's a feeling of deja vu. Nearly three decades ago, in 1988, a similar fight played out shortly after AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran passed away. The party split between his protege J Jayalalithaa and his wife Janaki and the two leaves symbol was frozen by the then election commissioner. But, the similarity ends there.

Charisma and political credentials marked the clash between Jayalalithaa and Janaki in what was then personality-centric politics. The fight today is for political survival for both T T V Dinakaran and O Panneerselvam.

The key issue now is mass acceptability and the rival leaders' popularity within a regional party that dominated the Dravidian horizon for four decades. For the faction that wins the R K Nagar byelection, the battle for supremacy is half won. But MGR biographer R Kannan feels that it is still unclear if the bypoll can be considered a microcosm of Tamil Nadu or a portent for things to come.

Neither OPS nor TTV have any personal following or influence, he pointed out. "There is the impression fostered by the media and social media that the cadres and even a section of the public are sympathetic to OPS; the other faction is believed to simply command the support of the MLAs and party office-bearers. This is all too simplistic and is yet to be tested," said Kannan.

The OPS faction is likely to get a fair share of the AIADMK votes, not the least because its candidate E Madhusudhanan is a son of the soil. However, it is unlikely that the un committed voterpublic will be enthused by either of the factions, he said. But, former minister and OPS supporter K Pandiarajan is confident of victory . "Once our candidate wins, MLAs would switch to our side," he told TOI. The big challenge, however, would be in educating the voters about the new names of their factions, AIADMK (Amma) and AIADMK (Puratchithalaivi Amma), and the hat and electric pole symbols.

With the Election Commission ac knowledging the split in the AIADMK and freezing the symbol, the two factions are equally poised in their bitter battle for Jayalalithaa's legacy. But, in a differ ent avatar with new poll symbols, victory in R K Nagar may be unachievable. The Sasikala camp is upbeat. "The EC decision is a shock for us. But, we will win on the plank of Amma's welfare schemes and her achievements," said ex-minister P Valarmathi. But, just as in 1989 when Karunanidhi made a comeback, Kannan says the DMK may well end up as the beneficiary of the vote split in the AIADMK. "M K Stalin and DMK under his stewardship enjoy a relatively positive image if we were to discount the incidents on the day of the confidence vote," he said.

Factions get different symbols

ADMK splits: Sasi gets `hat', `pole' for OPS, March 24, 2017: The Times of India

The split in AIADMK beca me official on Thursday The V K Sasikala faction de .cided to call itself AIADMK (Amma) and picked the `hat' symbol while the O Panneerselvam group christened itself AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) and decided to fight under the `electric pole' symbol, reports Julie Mariappan. The settlement came hours before the deadline for filing nominations for the bypoll in R K Nagar, a seat that became vacant after J Jayalalithaa's death in December 2016.

How PM, Shah united AIADMK

Akhilesh Singh, How PM, Shah charted plans to unite AIADMK, August 22, 2017: The Times of India

BJP May Seize Chance For Pre-Poll Alliance

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the merger of AIADMK's two factions on Monday and said the Centre would provide all support to chief minister E Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam for Tamil Nadu's growth. “I congratulate Thiru O Panneerselvam and others who took oath today .I hope Tamil Nadu scales newer heights of progress in the years to come,“ Modi tweeted.

It is believed the BJP leadership, including Modi and party chief Amit Shah, played a crucial role in the merger as it comes with the opportunity for the saffron party to consolidate itself in the southern state.

There is also the possibility of the merged entity joining the NDA at the Centre, which will consolidate the ruling dispensation further following Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) coming on board. There is speculation BJP will use the opportu nity to forge a pre-poll alliance with ADMK with V K Sasikala's sympathisers sidelined.

ADMK has 50 members in Parliament, including 37 in Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha and their presence on the treasury benches will be a boost to NDA. Soon after Sasikala was jailed after her conviction on corruption charges, BJP began taking keen interest in Tamil Nadu politics, striving for unity among ADMK rival factions. As a weakened AIADMK could have seen rival DMK making gains and subsequently helping Congress, BJP leaders left no stone unturned to unite the two factions.

Modi held several rounds of separate meetings with Panneerselvam and Palaniswami.Both leaders were invited to the oath-taking ceremony of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, making it clear that the BJP brass wanted to keep both factions in good humour.

After Jayalalitha's death, BJP kept away as Sasikala took over as general secretary . BJP members were not ready to join hands with someone facing graft charges. The BJP leadership was equally apprehensive when Sasikala imposed her nephew TTV Dinkaran on the party . However, after Dinakaran was held for misuse of money in the assembly bypolls, BJP found it easier to convince the two factions to merge.

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