Tamil Nadu deal closer: Panneerselvam back as CM and Palaniswami as AIADMK chief

O Panneerselvam

Chennai, April 22: Setting the stage for a unified All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu, the two rival factions in the party are said to have agreed to a deal to reinstate rebel leader O Panneerselvam as the chief minister while current Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami will take charge as the organisation’s general secretary in place of the jailed V K Sasikala.

“The merger deal has been sealed and formal talks will begin now between the senior leaders of both factions to finalize and announce the decision. Palaniswami will step down for Panneerselvam, and become the party chief. Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, whose properties were raided by Income Tax officials, may be dropped from the cabinet. Former minister and MLA Senthil Balaji may be inducted along with one or two more faces from southern Tamil Nadu,” a senior All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

According to sources, what forced the ruling faction to give up the post of the chief minister was the “vulnerable state of the government’. “A revolt by just six of the 122 MLAs currently with the ruling faction will bring down the government,’ said sources, referring to the majority mark in the assembly.