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

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam. PTI File

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam. PTI File

Prior to the merger announcement, the Palaniswami faction was expected to pass a resolution against AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala.

Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who had already arrived from Mumbai after cancelling his programmes, administered the oath of office to Panneerselvam and K Pandiarajan (Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture portfolio).

Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam reached AIADMK headquarters in Chennai today, shook hands marking the merger of both camps.

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Panneerselvam was later sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state, and was given additional charge of Finance and Housing Ministry.

Palaniswami on Thursday announced that an inquiry commission headed by a retired High Court judge would be constituted to probe the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in December a year ago. While addressing the people, Palanisamy said that there will be 11 people in a committee to co-ordinate in the merger.

While the OPS camp expressed satisfaction at the decisions, sources, however, maintained that a merger could only take place after the complete ouster of V S Sasikala from the party. He also wished Tamil Nadu and said he wishes the state "scales new heights of progress" in the future. The Chief Minister said difference of opinion between the two factions had emerged earlier and that they were now being addressed through discussions. It was agreed that Panneerselvam would be made the coordinator of the party and would be drafted into the Cabinet as deputy chief minister. Chief Minister E Palaniswamy had spoken about giving a thought of removing Sasikala from the party.

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August 17: The CM announced a judicial probe into the death of Jayalalithaa.

However, Panneerselvam cleared the air yesterday, saying a positive result was expected in a day or two.

This is the contour of the merger plan the two factions in the AIADMK have agreed upon. Later both leaders paid homage at Jayalalithaa Samadhi from where OPS launched his revolt after meditating there on the night of February 7. But party veteran Ponnaiyan said that she will be removed from the post at party's general council meeting on Monday, while also terming her appointment as against the party rules. He also thanked Palaniswami for taking efforts in uniting the two factions.

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