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Post oath, TTV Dhinakaran rails against AIADMK

Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, who won the RK Nagar Assembly bypoll as an independent candidate, on Friday warned that the fate of the AIADMK government will be sealed in the budget session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly in two to three months.After taking oath as a member of the Assembly before Tamil Nadu Speaker P Dhanapal, Dhinakaran said the Madras High Court verdict in the case against disqualification of 18 MLAs supporting him would be out by January-end and a trial of strength would be held in February or March.Hitting out at Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and some other Ministers, Dhinakaran, who was flanked by the disqualified MLAs, said that five-six “self serving” people who had committed “betrayal” were now ruling the roost with support from “north”, an apparent reference to BJP.Meanwhile, Palaniswami responded and said that some people were making false charges against the AIADMK due to political vendetta. “AIADMK party will remain unaffected even if a thousand Dhinakarans stood against it,” he said. Panneerselvam dismissed Dhinakaran’s claims and said that he would not reply to those speaking from the dream world.

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RK Nagar bypoll: Embarrassed AIADMK alleges ‘tacit understanding’ between Dhinakaran and DMK

The ruling AIADMK today alleged there was a ‘tacit understanding’ between TTV Dhinakaran and the opposition DMK to defeat it in the RK Nagar bypoll, where the sidelined party leader emerged victorious.The party is also likely to brainstorm on today’s defeat at a meeting in Chennai on Monday. Party coordinator O Panneerselvam and co-coordinator K Palaniswami said DMK, their party’s archrival, faced its “worst defeat” in an election to any Assembly segment in Tamil Nadu so far. The DMK candidate N Maruthu Ganesh finished third in the bypoll by garnering 24,651 votes, in the process losing deposit.”The result of the RK Nagar bypoll is an outcome of the tacit understanding between DMK Working President MK Stalin and Dhinakaran,” Panneerselvam and Palaniswami said in a joint statement tonight. It showed how Stalin and Dhinakaran planned to defame party founder, the late MG Ramachandran and late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa by joining hands to “defeat Two leaves,” the AIADMK’s symbol, they said. “People are amazed how DMK is pushed to a situation where it could not even get the primary votes it has in RK Nagar. At the same time, they are questioning how DMK can enter into a conspiracy with Dhinakaran to defame Amma,” they added.Also readRK Nagar bypoll: 4 big takeaways from TTV Dhinakaran’s stunning win Stalin had entered into such a “tacit understanding” unmindful of his party’s performance as his sole intention was to target the AIADMK government, they alleged. Taking a swipe at Dhinakaran, the two leaders said he had earlier been dismissed by Jayalalithaa along with other relatives of her confidante VK Sasikala. They also accused him of “betraying” Jayalalithaa even after her death by allegedly joining hands with DMK. They cited Dhinakaran’s response to the acquittal of DMK leaders Kanimozhi and A Raja, in the 2G spectrum allocation case on December 21, that he was happy for them as they hailed from Tamil Nadu.Also readRK Nagar bypoll: Dhinakaran rises against all odds to stump rivals “The election outcome shows he (Dhinakaran) received DMK votes as a reward for this. Realising he cannot take on AIADMK and Two Leaves directly, Stalin has diverted his party votes to Dhinakaran,” they charged and accused the DMK leader of “betraying” his party. The two AIADMK leaders also levelled allegations of money distribution against Dhinakaran. They said Dhinakaran’s victory cannot be accepted as the “thought process” of the people of entire Tamil Nadu. The win achieved by “conspiracy” by Stalin and Dhinakaran will not affect AIADMK nor was it a setback, they said.They vowed to take forward the “Amma rule” and deliver welfare and commit to upholding Jayalalithaa’s fame. Dhinakaran today won the prestigious RK Nagar Assembly bypoll by a thumping margin of over 40,000 votes.

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RK Nagar bypoll: 4 big takeaways from TTV Dhinakaran’s stunning win

TTV Dhinakaran on Sunday won a stunning victory as an independent candidate from former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar constituency. He made a rather audacious prediction after his win claiming that the ruling AIADMK government will not last more than three months. Dhinakaran’s win over AIADMK and DMK candidates have definitely added a new angle to Tamil Nadu politics and has clearly indicated that the churn which started after passing away of J Jayalalithaa is unlikely to stop anytime soon. Here are some of the big pointers from Dhinakaran’s Sunday surprise:Also readRK Nagar bypoll: Dhinakaran rises against all odds to stump rivals 1. Dhinakaran is here to stay:Battling corruption cases and collective might of AIADMK, it was perfectly possible that TTV Dhinakaran’s rebellion would have ended tamely. At the end of the day, Tamil Nadu is famously bi-polar and there is very little space for a third pole. However Dhinakaran by winning the prestigious RK Nagar battle has shown that he isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Whether he comes good on his promise to make a political earthquake in Tamil Nadu remains to be seen, but this election result has given him the political oxygen to fight another day. And for voters of RK Nagar, TTV Dhinakaran truly is the torchbearer of Amma’s legacy. Also readTTV Dhinakaran wins RK Nagar bypoll, DMK and BJP candidates lose deposit2. Troubling times for AIADMK: The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu is in a fragile state, with a very unstable peace deal between the OPS and EPS camp. Now, with the Dhinakaran camp scoring this major win, the fragile unity will be severely tested. It’s clear that large number of voters and foot soldiers have their allegiance towards VK Sasikala’s nephew Dhinakaran. Will the elected legislators also change their affinity sensing the groundswell of support for Dhinakaran. Will there be a beeline to join the list of 18 currently suspended MLAs who have pledged their allegiance to Dhinakaran? Will either of OPS or EPS group try to side with him? And the million dollar question of who the voters will finally perceive as the ‘real’ AIADMK? The jury is out on all these questions, but both O Palaniswami and E Panneerselvam have their task cut out for sure. 3. DMK in disarray: There are conspiracy theories floating around about DMK taking it easy and transferring votes to Dhinakaran, to stir the AIADMK pot. But it’s hard to believe that the party would ensure such engineering where it ends up losing its deposit. It’s embarrassing for the major opposition party in the state and would further make Stalin’s job difficult. DMK is yet to revive from its assembly poll defeat last year, but with Lok Sabha polls barely an year and half away, it doesn’t have too much time to regroup. RK Nagar may have been an one-off, a referendum about Amma’s true legacy which sidelined DMK, but the party would try to avoid such slip-up in the future. The 2G verdict has definitely come as shot in arm for DMK, and it remains to be seen whether it can leverage it politically. 4. BJP continues to be non-existent: BJP, despite its best efforts, continues to be a virtual non-entity in Tamil Nadu. And RK Nagar was no exception, with the party candidate getting even lesser votes than NOTA. The BJP at Centre has given tacit support to AIADMK in the state, but that hasn’t helped in the party’s growth in Tamil Nadu. As Subramanian Swamy said, it is time to fix accountability in Tamil Nadu. BJP and Amit Shah will probably need more than a few visits to fix party’s condition in the southern state.

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RK Nagar bypoll: Dhinakaran rises against all odds to stump rivals

Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran who scripted an emphatic win in the RK Nagar assembly bypoll has proved his main campaign line that he will be chosen by people to succeed ‘Amma’ (late chief minister Jayalalithaa), who represented the constituency twice.The victory, against all odds, including loss of Two Leaves symbol and a slew of cases against him, is being seen as a worrying development both for AIADMK and principal opposition DMK, which finished third behind the ruling party.After the revolt by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Dhinakaran has vowed to unseat the regime, accusing him of having betrayed the faith reposed in him by jailed party leader and his aunt V K Sasikala.Also readTTV Dhinakaran wins RK Nagar bypoll, DMK and BJP candidates lose depositThe suave Dhinakaran was handpicked by Sasikala to lead the party when she went to the Parapana Agrahara Jail in Bengaluru to serve a four year jail term in a disproportionate assets case in February this year.Dhinakaran is not new to electoral politics. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1999 from Periyakulam and to the Rajya Sabha in 2004.Also readRK Nagar bypoll result: Subramanian Swamy calls for accountability after BJP gets lesser votes than NOTAKnown for his brilliant organisation skills, he was a key player in party appointments albeit from behind the screens and during parleys with allies at the time of elections.However, his sudden emergence as party Deputy General Secretary slowly ruffled feathers and Palaniswami teamed up with then rival leader and now Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to form the main bloc of AIADMK which now has the Two-Leaves symbol.In April-May last, Dhinakaran went through a rough patch with the Delhi Police arresting him for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission officials to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol. Among others, he also faces a FERA case.Eighteen of his loyalist MLAs were disqualified by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal months ago and a case in this regard is pending before the Madras High Court.Post the merger of the factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and now his deputy O Panneerselvam, a general council meeting of AIADMK in September had annulled the appointment of Sasikala as the party general secretary and all subsequent appointments/removals made by her, including that of Dhinakaran.Unfazed, 54-year old Dhinakaran, who alongwith Sasikala had worked closely with Jayalalithaa for about three decades, moved on confidently and continued to meet his supporters in all the districts.Articulate, outgoing and sociable, Dhinakaran, a former MP, has been asserting that party cadres were with him and he was led by “Chinnamma Sasikala,” a true successor to ‘Amma’.His appeal to vote for him was in simple, plain spoken everyday Tamil unlike the bombastic style of some leaders.To their credit, Dhinakaran and his followers were able to take the ‘pressure cooker symbol’ to the voters.In about two decades, he is the first independent candidate to be elected in Tamil Nadu and that too with such a huge margin scoring higher than that of Jayalalithaa in 2016 Assembly polls.In that election, Jayalalithaa had won by a margin of 39,545 votes defeating DMK nominee Shimla Muthuchozhan. While Jayalalithaa secured 97,218 votes, the DMK candidate 57,673 votes.Despite the spectacular poll show, Dhinakaran and his followers face the allegation of attempting to bribe the voters through ingenious ways. DMK Working President MK Stalin alleged money power behind today’s electoral outcome.

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RK Nagar by-poll: Voting in late Jayalalithaa’s constituency ends peacefully with 77% turnout

The R K Nagar bypoll today witnessed a record 77.68 per cent voter turnout with polling to the constituency, which was represented by the late J. Jayalalithaa, passing off peacfully amid tight security.Election officials here said there may be some variation in the figure after taking into consideration the polling percentage at some booths where voting went on beyond 5 pm.The voter turnout is higher than the 68 per cent recorded in the 2016 assembly election,according to officials.The bypoll is being seen as an acid test for the chief minister K Palaniswami and deputy O Panneeerselvam-led ruling AIADMK which is facing a strong challenge from sidelined leader T T V Dhinakaran and an aggressive DMK.The DMK is putting up a tough fight to wrest the seat after a hiatus of over two decades.Of the 59 candidates in the fray, the fight is essentially triangular with the key contenders being ruling AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan, main opposition DMK candidate N Maruthu Ganesh and Dhinakaran, contesting as an independent.The ruling AIADMK got back its Two Leaves election symbol back following merger of factions led by Palaniswami and former rebel O Panneerselvam.The run up to the bypoll saw political parties and candidates holding as many as 152 public meetings and taking out 605 processions with the campaigning ending on December 19.The 2015 R K Nagar bypoll in which Jayalalithaa was elected by a huge margin of 1.5 lakh votes for the first time in this segment had witnessed a record 75 per cent turnout.Voting at 258 polling stations passed off peacefully with 2500 state police personnel, 15 companies of Central Armed Police Forces and 1638 election officers manning the poll process.Serpentine queues were witnessed in booth after booth, right from 8 am when voting began with women outnumbering men in several of them.A large number of people were awaiting their turn to vote even at the scheduled close of voting at 5 pm.All those who were present inside the polling stations ahead of the 5 pm deadline were given tokens by officials to ensure that they exercised their franchise.There were, however, sporadic complaints of snag in EVMs, and consequential delay.Some voters complained that their names were deleted, othes claimed their names were struck off the rolls wrongly categorising them as “dead.”Gun-toting Central Armed Police Force personnel in their trademark green uniforms were stationed at all the polling stations and across the 45 checkposts in and around the Dr Radhakrishnan (RK) Nagar constituency.Senior poll officials including the district election Officer D Karthikeyan inspected the polling stations.Several dozens of flying squad teams, static surveillance teams and video surveillance teams were deployed in the constituency.Election authorities made elaborate arrangements to ensure both hassle free environs for voters and measures for free and fair polling with nine observers, 307 micro-observers and 258 web cameras to monitor the poll process.Chennai Corporation personnel drafted for poll duty took differently abled persons inside the polling stations using wheel-chairs.In booths that had a significantly high number of voters, a medical team comprising doctors, and paramedics were stationed.’Pandals’ were put up, and help desks helped people find the right booth to vote. Amenities like drinking water, and toilets were also in place.R K Nagar, represented twice by Jayalalithaa, has an electorate of 2,28,234, comprising 1,10,903 men, 1,17,232 women and 99 transgenders.Election officials said 79.21 per cent of women voters exercised their franchise while 75.92 per cent of men cast their votes.Counting of votes will be taken up on December 24 and the results are expected to be out by afternoon that day.

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RK Nagar campaign ends dirty

The campaigning for the contentious RK Nagar Assembly seat, vacated by late Tamil Nadu chief J Jayalalithaa, came to an end on Tuesday evening, amid allegations of free-flowing money and freebies to voters. The bypolls are scheduled to be held on December 21.Even as there are 59 candidates in the fray for the crucial bypoll, the major front-runners are AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan, DMK’s N Marudhu Ganesh and sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran, who is contesting as an independent candidate.To ensure a smooth election, the Election Commission of India has deployed nine observers, the highest ever for an election in one Assembly constituency. However, despite heightened security and monitoring, allegations of distribution of money and freebies for voters were flung back and forth.On Sunday, DMK working president MK Stalin wrote to the ECI, alleging that the ruling AIADMK distributed over Rs 100 crore to the voters and asked the commission to ensure free and fair election. The AIADMK on its part accused the DMK of bribing voters and complained against Dinakaran that he was distributing free pressure cookers — his symbol — to the voters.The flying squads have also seized around Rs 30 lakh from several people during the campaign. The police have arrested as many as 20 persons in connection to the money distribution to voters.Although the poll was first scheduled to be held in April this year, it was cancelled due to complaints of large-scale voter bribing by a candidate.The crucial bypoll is considered to be a litmus test for the ruling AIADMK, which underwent a split and then a patch-up within the last year. The victory in the bypoll would help the 11-month-old Edappadi K Palaniswami government to claim Jayalalithaa’s political legacy.

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CM Palaniswami visits ailing Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary in hospital

Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan has been admitted to a hospital here and Chief Minister K Palaniswami today met her and enquired about her health. <!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Palaniswami today visited the Apollo Hospital, where 58-year old Vaidyanathan had been admitted for some illness and evaluation, and enquired about her health. A photograph released here by the government showed Palaniswami giving the chief secretary a bouquet in the hospital. It said the Chief Minister enquired about her health.

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PM Modi dials CM Palaniswami as Cyclone Ockhi batters Tamil Nadu, assures assistance

The Tamil Nadu government has said it will soon seek central funds for the damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi in the southern parts of the state, with Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts being the worst hit.This was conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Chief Minister K Palaniswami during a telephone conversation between the two leaders last night, a state government release said.”The prime minister assured to immediately give the required assistance,” the release issued last night said.Modi dialled Palaniswami and enquired about the damage caused by the cyclone, which also battered parts of Kerala, it said.The chief minister apprised him of the various relief works going on in “full swing” in seven districts of the state and told Modi that Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli were the worst affected.Also readCyclone Ockhi: 165 families shifted from Kerala; TN writes to centre for fundsHe listed out various steps being taken, besides deputing senior ministers and IAS officials to oversee the relief work, the release added.Efforts were being undertaken on a “war footing” while power supply was being restored. The Coast Guard’s help was being used to rescue 30 fishermen stranded in the sea even as 76 of them had been already rescued, Palaniswami said.Also readCyclone Ockhi updates: More than 80 fishermen go missing; 8 dead in Tamil Nadu, KeralaThe state will send a report to the Centre seeking funds after carrying out a detailed assessment of the damage caused by the cyclone, which has crippled life in Kanyakumari district, he told the Prime Minister.Cyclone Ockhi, which in Bengali means ‘eye’, had yesterday intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved to the Arabian Sea.The state government yesterday said that over 1,200 people affected by the cyclone in Kanniyakumari and Tirunelveli districts have been lodged in relief camps.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Talks of fissures in AIADMK as OPS skips party event

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after the Election Commission recognised the ruling unified faction under Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and his Deputy CM O Panneerselvam as the AIADMK and allocated them the Two Leaves symbol, fissures seem to have now emerged in the party with Panneerselvam supposedly skipping a party event.The conspicuous absence of Panneerselvam in an event in Madurai to celebrate the retrieval of the symbol has triggered talks of growing differences in the ruling party.OPS loyalist Aspire Swaminathan, member of the AIADMK’s IT wing, expressed his displeasure at the event organised on Saturday to celebrate the retrieval of the symbol, pointing out that no invite was sent out to anyone. “Minister has announced success meet to celebrate retrieval of the symbol today. They will hoist party flag in a grand manner. There is no invite or information about these celebrations to anyone,” he tweeted.The banners and posters erected across the city did not mention the name of Panneerselvam. Besides, Palanisami, after hoisting the party flag, unveiled a plaque that did not have Panneerselvam’s name. His supporters saw this as an attempt to sideline him.Swaminathan’s post came in the wake of another OPS loyalist and Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan expressing his concern over the differences in the unified party. “It has been three months since the EPS, OPS factions merged. Months have gone, but have the hearts synced,” he asked in a Facebook post.On Saturday, Maitreyan who made a sudden visit to Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Banwarilal Purohit, said there was no information about the event to celebrate the retrieval of the symbol to the OPS supporters. “I don’t know whether Panneerselvam or party deputy coordinator KP Munnusamy were invited or not. But I can tell you Madurai MP Gopalakrishnan and Madurai South MLA SS Saravanan were not informed about the event. Both of them are OPS supporters,” he told reporters. He expressed hope that OPS and EPS would ensure that no such incidents happen in the future.The growing differences in the ruling AIADMK might impact the outcome of the December 21 RK Nagar bypoll. Already, the principal opposition party DMK has begun electioneering retaining Marudhu Ganesh as its candidate.DMK working president MK Stalin also wrote to opposition parties including Left and VCK seeking their support. VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan immediately announced his party support the DMK.

Poes Garden raids ‘betrayal to Amma’s soul,’ an attempt to destroy our family, alleges TTV Dhinakaran

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>TTV Dhinakaran, the rebel AIADMK leader, has slammed the lat night Income Tax raids at the Poes Garden in Chennai on Friday.The official residence of Tamil Nadu’s former Chief Minister and AIADMK matriarch J Jayalalithaa, the Poes Garden has been the centre of Tamil politics.Calling the I-T raids an attempt to destroy his family, Dhinakaran also termed the late night operations as ‘betrayal to Amma’s soul’.Though reports now confirm that the ‘search and recovery’ operation was confined to only two rooms in Poes Garden, the protests are inevitable.Dhinkaran, nephew of Jayalalithaa’s once closest aide VK Sasikala, said that he and his family is ‘not scared’ by the raids and that ‘we won’t run away’.The jailed confidant and her family is under radar for unaccounted income. Sidelined and under tax department’s lens, the Sasikala clan is trying hard.In a no-holds barred approach, Dhianakaran not only attacked the state government of Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam but also dragged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley into the raids issue.He said that the Centre is using the I-T department to destroy his family. The raids are a follow-up of the mega search operations carried out earlier this month.There are reports that the I-T officials seized a laptop and few pen drives as what is believed a crucial evidence in the unaccounted income case.

Madras HC stays further proceedings against cartoonist Bala

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today stayed further proceedings on an FIR registered against cartoonist Bala alias Balamurgan over a caricature depicting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami allegedly in a distasteful manner over a family suicide related to usury.Passing the interim order on a petition by Bala seeking to quash the proceedings against him, Justice S S Sundar directed the state government to file its counter.The freelance cartoonist was arrested on November 5 on the basis of a complaint filed by Tirunelveli District Collector Sandeep Nanduri and released on bail by a court a day later.A case was registered on November 1 under Indian Penal Code Section 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) and under the Information Technology Act.Sandeep Nanduri and Tirunelveli city police Commissioner Kapil Kumar Sarathkar were also caricatured. The caricature which was uploaded on Bala’s Facebook page on October 26.The petitioner contended that the FIR clearly showed that there was no criminal offence. He also claimed that the police had no jurisdiction to proceed with the probe without prior permission of the court concerned.The FIR was also against various Supreme Court rulings, he submitted.The cartoon was uploaded days after a man and his wife set themselves and their two kids afire at the Tirunelveli Collectorate complex allegedly due to harassment by a money-lender.While the woman and her two children died on the day of the incident on October 23, the man succumbed to injuries later.

Election Commission concludes hearing AIADMK symbol case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Election Commission on Wednesday concluded hearing the AIADMK symbol case and reserved the order which is likely to be delivered in the next few days.At the seventh hearing today, the rival E K Palaniswami-O Panneerselvam and the Sasikala Natarajan factions concluded their arguments. The Sasikala faction wanted to counter certain points raised by the Palaniswami-Panneerselvam faction, but was asked by EC to give it in writing by early next week. Counsel for the Palaniswami-Panneerselvam faction and former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said the hearings were concluded today and the order will be delivered soon.A senior functionary said the order has been reserved and would be made public in the next few days. Sasikala faction counsel Raja Senthoor Pandian claimed that the Palaniswami-Panneerselvam side took up most of the time today, leaving little time for them to respond. “But we will place our arguments in writing and say on record that we were denied an opportunity to verbally place our stand,” Pandian told reporters. Initially two factions led by Panneerselvam and Sasikala had staked claim to the ‘two leaves’ symbol. The poll panel had frozen it, pending decision on their pleas.Later, a large group of legislators led by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami revolted against Sasikala, who is in jail in a graft case, and announced merger with Panneerselvam faction. Resolutions ousting Sasikala as interim general secretary and her nephew Dhinakaran as her deputy were also adopted at the party’s general council meeting held on September 12. On September 14, representatives of Dhinakaran had approached the EC urging it to declare as invalid the general council meeting, citing a high court order that said any decision taken at the impugned meeting will be subject to the final outcome in the appeal.

Ease of doing business: TN launches single-window portal for industries

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday launched the single-window portal for industries as part of the efforts to promote ease of doing business in the state.”Industries department has developed an integrated web-based single window portal (www.easybusiness.tn.gov.in) which will enable industries to obtain the required pre-establishment, pre-operation clearances and renewals across 11 departments including Directorate of Town and Country Planning, Pollution Control Board and Labour,” an official release said.Through this portal, 37 services of various departments would be made available to investors without any human interface, it said, adding that the portal provides for online submission of applications, tracking and monitoring of application through SMS and e-mail.The state government has recently passed the Tamil Nadu Business Facilitation Act 2017 through which an ordinance to strengthen the single window system by stipulating timeline for each approval and also provides for deemed approval in respect of certain clearances.

TN govt to ‘consider’ plea made by Jayalalithaa’s niece over ex CM’s home

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Tamil Nadu government on Monday agreed to “consider and dispose of” within four weeks a representation made by Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa against the decision to convert the former chief minister’s Poes Garden residence here into a memorial.Advocate-General Vijay Narayan made a submission to this effect before Justice K Ravichandrabaabu, when Deepa’s petition came up for hearing.Recording the submission made by the AG, the judge directed the government to take a decision on the representation within four weeks.The court had earlier sought the government’s response to Deepa’s plea.Deepa submitted that her paternal grandmother Vedavalli alias Sandhya had purchased several properties in and around Chennai. She died in 1971, leaving behind her son Jayakumar and daughter Jayalalithaa as successors, she said.Deepa claimed that her father got married after her grandmother’s death and lived in a joint family with his wife, children as well as his sister (Jayalalithaa) in the same house for a long time.Later, for the sake of convenience, the family had to move to the present residence at T Nagar here, she said.Deepa further submitted that Jayalalithaa died last year on December 5 leaving behind her (Deepa) and her brother as second class legal heirs to succeed to her entire estate, that also includes the Poes Garden residence of the former chief minister.Deepa said she was shocked by the government’s decision to convert her aunt’s Poes Garden residence into a memorial. Palaniswami had on August 17 announced his government would convert Jayalalithaa’s ‘Veda Nilayam’ residence into a memorial.”The press release of the chief minister (making public the decion) is without any basis and he (K Palaniswami) has got no locus standi to issue it with respect to a private property which lawfully belongs to me and my brother,” she said.The petitioner alleged that officials of the revenue and tourism departments are surveying the property in a haste “which is nothing but illegal”.

At EC hearing, Sasikala camp urges freezing ‘two-leaf’ symbol permanently

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The second Election Commission hearing over the AIADMK symbol war remained inconclusive on Monday, with the V K Sasikala camp questioning the authenticity of the documents submitted by the rival group and demanding the ‘two-leaf’ symbol be frozen permanently.Former law minister Ashwani Kumar, representing Sasikala and her nephew T T V Dhinakaran, argued the majority is on their side. He also disputed the authenticity of the affidavits filed by the other side — the O Panneerselvam and E K Palaniswami camp.”Unless the authenticity of the affidavits can be determined by the EC, there is no material before the commission to actually decide the matter of the majority support,” he later told reporters.He said the majority support under the party constitution can also be considered on the basis of the support of the primary members not only on the basis of general council members.”At the worst, even if all our arguments fail, even then symbol cannot be granted to one faction and it has to be frozen,” he said.The hearing remained inconclusive and the matter was adjourned for October 23.The Supreme Court has asked the poll panel to decide on the matter by November 10.Senior AIADMK leader and supporter of the OPS-EPS camp, K P Munuswamy, said the Sasikala faction is losing the legal battle and that is why it was demanding to freeze the symbol permanently.Counsel for OPS-EPS side and former MP Manoj Pandian said, “It is their attempts to delay the hearing process by questioning the authenticity of the affidavits. Despite their attempts to delay, we shall get the symbol,” he said after the hearing.During the last hearing on October 6, the OPS-EPS camp, which merged recently, had staked claim over the AIADMK and its ‘two-leaf’ election symbol before the Election Commission, claiming support of a majority of lawmakers and party cadre.In an interim order in March this year, the Commission had barred the then rivals– Palaniswami and Panneerselvam — from using the party’s name or its symbol in the R K Nagar assembly bypoll necessitated due to the demise of sitting lawmaker J Jayalalithaa.The bypoll, for which the AIADMK had fielded Dhinakaran, was later cancelled due to alleged bribing of voters and is yet to take place.Prior to the merger, the two factions led by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, V K Sasikala had staked claim over the symbol. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami was then a Sasikala loyalist.The poll panel had, however, frozen the symbol, pending decision on their pleas.Later, a large number of legislators led by Palaniswami revolted against Sasikala, who is now in jail in a disproportionate assets case, and announced merger of the two factions.Resolutions ousting Sasikala as interim general secretary and Dhinakaran as her deputy were also adopted at the party’s general council meeting on September 12.On September 14, representatives of Dhinakaran had approached the EC urging it to declare as invalid the general council meeting, citing a high court order that said any decision taken at the impugned meeting will be subject to the final outcome in the appeal. ​

Sasikala leaves for Bengaluru prison as parole ends

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Deposed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala today left for Bengaluru by road to report at the Parappana Agrahara Prison in Bengaluru as her parole for visiting her husband in a hospital here ended yesterday.Sasikala left from the residence of Krishna Priya, her close relative in T Nagar here this morning.She had visited her husband M Natarajan, who underwent liver and kidney transplantation at the hospital, on all five days of her parole period.According to Gleneagles Global Health City, where Natarajan (74) underwent organ transplantations on October 4 and a tracheostomy two days later, he is recovering well.The AIADMK leader, who was removed from the party last month by Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led camp, is travelling in a car, which had to halt at several locations here like the Trade Centre point as the area was teeming with party cadres to greet and wish her well.Also, as was witnessed in the past five days, several women cadres carried their newborns in their arms and requested Sasikala to name them.After halting at several locations, her convoy took the Bengaluru highway.The 60-year-old leader is expected to reach Bengaluru on time to report at the prison complex by six pm in keeping with the parole condition.Sasikala has been lodged in the Parapana Agrahara central jail since February this year after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction by a special court in a disproportionate assets case.Her relatives Ilavarasi and V N Sudhakaran are also serving four-year jail terms in the case.Granted emergency parole from October 7 to 11, she was asked to adhere to several conditions, including a gag order on interacting with the media.Sasikala’s visit came at a time when her nephew and sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran and the ruling camp led by Palaniswami and deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam are fighting it out to get the two leaves symbol, which was frozen by the Election Commission.

HC adjourns MLA disqualification case, stay on TN floor test to continue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered to continue its stay on floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. It also continued its stay on holding by-elections for the 18 seats that were declared vacant by the Speaker P Dhanapal after he disqualified 18 MLAs belonging to TTV Dinakaran camp.Hearing the petition challenging the Speaker’s decision to disqualify 18 MLAs, Justice K Ravichandra Babu ordered the continuation of the consent order earlier passed, and adjourned the case for further hearing till October 9.The judge also ordered the Speaker to respond by October 12 to DMK’s demand for action against 11 legislators of the ruling party who had voted against Chief Minister E Palaniswami in a trust vote earlier this year as part of the rebel camp of O Panneerselvam. The two factions of the AIADMK have since reunited.Appearing for the disqualified MLAs, senior Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi termed the action of the Speaker as ‘unconstitutional’ as he acted in a ‘partisan and biased manner’. They were disqualified on an ‘unnamed, unsigned and unverified’ complaint against the MLAs contrary to the principles of natural justice and all legal principles.Singhvi contended that the MLAs could not be disqualified under the provisions of the anti-defection law as they had not gone against the party and only petitioned the governor for the removal of the ‘corrupt’ chief minister. “There were no legal proceedings conducted by the Speaker and rules of natural justice were not applied to the MLAs,” the counsel maintained.He pointed out that no action has been taken against the plea for disqualification filed against deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and 11 MLAs who voted against the government earlier this year. On the contrary, action against the 18 MLAs was taken on the same day of complaint and disqualification was done within 21 days.Another senior counsel, Aryama Sundaram, who appeared for the Speaker, said the Speaker had filed a detailed counter affidavit strongly denying all the allegations made against him and that there was no denial of natural justice. The Speaker has clearly stated that time was given to the MLAs several times. “We will argue the case when our turn comes,” he said. Singhvi will resume arguments on October 9.

DMK whip files HC motion to disqualify O Panneerselvam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A week after Tamil Nadu Assembly speaker disqualified 18 rebel MLAs from AIADMK, R Sakkarapani, the DMK whip, has approached the Madras high court to seek a direction for the speaker to begin the disqualification proceedings against deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam. He has also called for the disqualification of 10 other MLAs who voted against the confidence motion moved by CM Edappadi K Palaniswami on February 18.Moving an urgent writ petition during the Dussehra vacation, Sakkarapani said that Speaker Dhanapal has not even issued a notice on the petition for disqualification filed on March 20 against Panneerselvam, Minister Ma Foi K Pandiarajan, and nine other legislators of AIADMK, which would have been in accordance with the provision of the tenth schedule of the Constitution and the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Rules for defying the party-line whip issued by the chief government whip.The DMK whip claimed that 11 MLAs went against the party whip to vote opposing the confidence motion, while MLA Arunkumar abstained from voting without permission. He noted that Pandiarajan, who had moved the Supreme Court, challenging the manner in which the trust motion was defeated on a voice vote instead of holding a secret ballot, had withdrawn the case after the CM inducted him and Panneerselvam in the cabinet last month.

AIADMK power struggle: Madras HC extends stay on floor test

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court on Wednesday extended its stay order on a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly till further directions.”There will not be floor tests for next days until counters are filed,” said Aryama Sundaram, lawyer of Tamil Nadu Speaker P Dhanapal.Justice M Duraiswamy ordered Chief Minister, Speaker and Government Chief Whip to file their response in the next hearing. The judge also asked the Election Commission not to announce by-election in the 18 constituencies until further orders. The court extended the stay while hearing a batch of petitions challenging the disqualification of 18 pro-Dhinakaran MLAs by the Tamil Nadu speaker.The next hearing is scheduled on October 4.Eight of the 18 MLAs had moved court , challenging the action against them under the anti-defection law.The petitioners had sought to restrain the speaker, government chief whip S Rajendran, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and the Assembly secretary from interfering with their rights as elected representatives.Acting on a plea by Rajendran, the speaker had on Monday disqualified 18 MLAs, loyal to sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran, under the assembly anti-defection and disqualification rules of 1986 formed in accordance with the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.The chief whip had moved the speaker after the MLAs met Governor Ch Vidaysagar Rao on August 22 and expressed lack of confidence in the chief minister.With the disqualification of the 18 MLAs, the 234-member assembly has only 215 elected members with one seat being vacant already.The government now needs only 108 votes to prove its majority in the assembly now in case of a floor test.

18 disqualified MLAs move Madras High Court against Speaker’s action

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after 18 MLAs loyal to ousted AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran were disqualified under the anti-defection law by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker, the disqualified legislators on Tuesday approached the Madras High Court challenging the Speaker’s actionJustice M Duraiswamy granted permission to the disqualified legislators to file individual writ petitions challenging their disqualification and get their case listed on Wednesday when their counsel PS Raman mentioned the issue on Tuesday.On Monday, Dhanapal disqualified the MLAs for giving a representation to Governor C Vidyasagar Rao seeking a change of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.The judge was expected to hear the disqualified MLAs petition on Tuesday when the Court hears the earlier plea made by one of the rebel MLAs P Vetrivel apprehending disqualification for their rebellion against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami along with the petition filed by DMK Working President M K Stalin. Stalin, in his plea, sought a direction to the Governor to ask Palaniswami to order a floor test in the wake of 19 MLAs withdrawing their support to him opposing the merger of the rebel faction led by O Panneerselvam. The Court had on September 14 put on hold the floor test till September 20.Amidst the political developments, Governor arrived here on Tuesday after meeting President Ram Nath Kovind and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. Sources said that Governor might order the floor test after the Madras High Court hearing the plea in this regard on Wednesday. After the disqualification of the 18 MLAs, Palaniswami’s government which was reduced to a minority in the 234 member Assembly, would be able to win the floor test with the support of its 114 MLAs in the House of 216 members minus the rebels. Dinakaran has the support of 21 MLAs including 18 disqualified legislators.In a massive rally against the NEET in Tiruchy, Dinakaran made a scathing attack on Governor saying that he acts as an AIADMK presidium chairman. “To restore the credibility of the Governor’s post, he should immediately order the floor test,” he said, asserting that his MLAs would get the justice in the court and would ensure that Palaniswami and his cabinet ministers were dismissed. “They are trying to prove the majority after disqualifying the MLAs. They have forgotten that there is a court,” he said in a rally attended by over 25,000 people.DMK has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal over the disqualification of the 18 MLAs. The meeting of DMK MLAs, convened by party Working President MK Stalin, criticised the disqualification of the MLAs by Dhanapal, alleging that it was an “autocratic misuse” of the powers of the Speaker. Later, speaking to reporters, Stalin accused the Governor of working under “Delhi’s instructions” and said the AIADMK government’s “days are numbered”. The disqualification of the dissident AIADMK MLAs would not stand legal scrutiny, he claimed.Stalin parried a question on possible en masse resignation of DMK MLAs on the issue and said their next course of action would be based on the outcome of the DMK’s petition in the Madras High Court seeking floor test. “We are confident that we will get justice in the court,” he said.‘Misue of power’The meeting of DMK MLAs, convened by party Working President MK Stalin, criticised the disqualification of the MLAs by Dhanapal, alleging that it was an “autocratic misuse” of the powers of the Speaker

Boost for TN CM: Speaker disqualifies18 MLAs from TTV Dhinakaran’s camp

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on Monday disqualified 18 rebel MLAs supporting ousted AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, in a move that brings down the magic number in the 234-member House to 109 as against 117 before, and boosts Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s position.The CM claims support of 114 MLAs who had recently met and ousted Dhinakaran and his jailed aunt VK Sasikala from the party. The Speaker also wrote to the Election Commission, intimating it that the 18 constituencies are now vacant after the disqualification.The Madras High Court had ruled on Thursday that no floor test in the Assembly can take place till September 20 when it hears the pleas of Opposition DMK and a rebel MLA.Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao rushed to Delhi and had a meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind. He also met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.Dhinakaran said his MLAs would move court against the disqualification and take part in a floor test — as and when it happens. He alleged the Governor’s inaction has led to the murder of democracy.

Dhinkaran colluding with DMK to topple state government: Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami accused AIADMK deputy general secretary and his rival in the party T T V Dhinakaran of “colluding with the opposition DMK” to topple his government.Without naming Dhinakaran, who has been demanding his ouster as chief minister, Palaniswami said, “Some are believing the DMK and making a miscalculation that they can bring down this regime and break the party (AIADMK).”The chief minister was addressing the gathering at the centenary celebrations of late chief minister and AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, here in western Tamil Nadu.Palaniswami hit out at Dhinakaran, who claims the support of 21 of the 134 MLAs of the ruling AIADMK, alleging that he had “joined hands with a party that was considered as an evil force” by MGR.”They (the Dhinakaran camp) are not bothered about this party (AIADMK) and the government,” he said and added that it was not even appropriate to expect that from the rival faction as Dhinakaran was expelled from the AIADMK by “Amma” (late chief minister J Jayalalithaa).”The almighty, which is Puratchi Thalaivi Amma, will punish them,” he said.Stating that “doubts” about his government’s stability were raised from “day one” by political rivals, Palaniswami said they “confused” the people by raking up such suspicions.On the contrary, the government was going ahead smoothly and all the schemes for the people were being implemented, he added.”What are the deficiencies that you have found in this government?” Palaniswami asked the gathering and listed out the welfare measures initiated by his regime, including the Kudimaramathu initiative (an ancient practice of desilting waterbodies with participation from the common people and farmers) and distribution of laptops among students for free.Attacking the DMK, without naming it, for its refrain that his regime had become a “slave” of the BJP-led central government, he said his government enjoyed a cordial relationship with the Centre as only then the state could get the much-needed development schemes, new plans and fundings for the same.The chief minister referred to the Japanese industrial township in the state, announced two days ago by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to drive home his point.In a series of questions pointed at the DMK, he wanted to know what did it achieve on the “lifeline issues” of Tamil Nadu such as the Cauvery and Mullaperiyar during its over-a- decade-long stint at the Centre as part of various regimes.He accused the main opposition party in the state of “only taking care of its family interests”.Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, in his address, likened the AIADMK faction, led by Palaniswami and him, to a “mountain”.”The AIADMK is a mountain. If anyone bangs against it, his head will be shattered to pieces…this is a warning to the conspirators who are trying to topple this government,” the former chief minister said.Earlier in the day, Palaniswami flagged off vehicles, marking the launch of “Swachhta hi Sewa” (Thooimaye Sevai Iyakkam), a cleanliness drive of the Centre, in seven districts of the state at a function in Salem, his native district.He also inaugurated a Rotavirus vaccination scheme for infants.Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, speaking at the centenary fete, said the “Navodaya” schools were about the “three-language formula”, and asserted that the AIADMK would not waver from the two-language formula.These comments of his came against the backdrop of opposition from various political parties to the opening of Navodaya schools in the state.The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had recently directed the Tamil Nadu government to take a decision on issuing a no-objection certificate for opening the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas in the state within eight weeks.Following this, there was opposition to it from various political parties in the state, including the DMK, which claimed that it would lead to an “imposition” of the Hindi language.

‘No work no pay only for Govt employees?’: Kamal Haasan takes potshot at AIADMK MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran actor Kamal Haasan today took potshots at elected representatives, saying that they should also be covered under the “no work no pay” formula.The actor’s comments came in the wake of a section of government employees and teachers striking work, with the Madras High Court pulling up the teachers for doing so.”No work no pay only for Govt. Employees?. How about horse trading politicians languishing in resorts?,” the actor said in a tweet without naming anyone.The ‘resort’ remark was apparently a reference to a section of the ruling AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to ‘sacked’ leader T T V Dhinakran shifting resorts.Following the revolt of 19 party MLAs against Chief Minister K Palaniswami, they were all initially accommodated at a resort in Puducherry. They later shifted to a resort in Coorg in Karnataka and are since staying there.One of them shifted camps to support Palaniswami later.Incidentally, AIADMK MLAs were earlier lodged at a resort at nearby Kuvathur in February, following a split in the party when then rebel leader O Panneerselvam revolted against party chief V K Sasikala.The MLAs were accommodated at the resort ahead of the crucial February 18 trust vote of the incumbent Palaniswami government. Panneerselvam had, however, merged his faction with the one led by Palaniswami last month.In another tweet, Haasan also pleaded with the court to warn legislators “who desist from attending work.” “The honourable court warns teachers on strike. I beseech the court to issue similar warnings to those MLAs who desist from attending work,” he said.On September 13, the Madras High Court had pulled up a section of Tamil Nadu government teachers who are on strike, saying it affected students.Haasan has been recently politically active, levying corruption charges against the government.Palaniswami and some of his cabinet colleagues had hit out at the actor.

Amma lives on: Jayalalithaa made AIADMK ‘eternal general secretary’; Sasikala sacked

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu today sacked jailed V K Sasikala as interim chief and made its late supremo Jayalalithaa the party’s “eternal general secretary”, sparking fresh confrontation with rebel leader TTV Dhinakaran who vowed to bring down the government.The decision to annul the appointment of Sasikala, who was a close aide of Jayalalithaa, was taken by the unified AIADMK’s General Council, the party’s top policy making body, in a unanimous resolution adopted at its meeting.The Council also asserted the supremacy of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam. Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, who are Co-ordinator and Joint Coordinator respectively of AIADMK, were vested with full executive powers.Showing the door to Sasikala, the meeting unanimously declared that all appointments made by her, including that of naming her nephew Dhinakaran as Deputy General Secretary, was invalid.”Following an atmosphere of shock after Amma’s (Jayalalithaa) untimely death… V K Sasikala was appointed as interim general secretary to attend to routine party work,” a resolution said.”It is unanimously resolved to cancel her appointment made on December 29,2016…. And all appointments and removals made by her between December 30, 2016 and February 15, 2017 are not valid,” the resolution added.Sasikala, among others, named Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary and reinstated S Venkatesh, another relative in the party, before surrendering in a Bengaluru court on February 15 following her conviction in a graft case.In its first meet after the Palaniswami and Panneerselvam factions merged last month, AIADMK (formally AIADMK, Amma-Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) resolved to venerate the late Jayalalithaa as the “eternal party general secretary.”It said “hereafter, no one will be elected general secretary or appointed to that post.”Accordingly, bylaw no.43 is being amended. The General Council unanimously approves this,” another resolution said.A combative Dhinakaran sought to play down the decision to annul the appointment of his aunt, indicating that the court could have a final say on the matter.Dhinakaran also dubbed the general council meeting, where the decision was taken, as a ‘public meeting’ and said he had undertaken efforts to “send home this regime” (led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami). The Dhinakaran camp claims a support of 19 MLAs.The AIADMK has 134 MLAs in the 233-member House?a seat is lying vacant after the death of Jayalalithaa. The majority mark is 117.Dhinakaran told reporters in Madurai that Sasikala alone had the right to convene the general council meeting and dared the camp led by Palaniswami to dissolve the assembly and face elections if the party was with them as they claim.Referring to the Madras High Court’s order that decisions taken at today’s General Council will be subject to the final outcome of an appeal on the matter, he said only then will it be known if the ouster of Sasikala was ‘valid.’The much awaited meet of the AIADMK General Council saw amendments to party bylaws to ratify the party posts of ‘Coordinator’ (Panneerselvam) and ‘Joint Coordinator’ (Palaniswami) announced on August 21, the day the factions merged last month.As per the new amendments, the coordinator and joint coordinator will be the top two power poles with full powers and jointly administer all party executive functions.They alone have powers to appoint members to the party’s Parliamentary Board, announce rules for party polls and sign ‘Authorisation Form’ of candidates to poll authorities.The coordinator and joint coordinator will hold office for five years and will be elected by the general council members. Palaniswami and Panneerselvam will hold their positions till elections are held.The party said the decisions have the full backing of all (about 2,300) the general council members.In effect, the posts of coordinator and joint coordinator replaces the hitherto numero uno position of general secretary held by Jayalalithaa, which was abolished.The meet gave its approval to functionaries appointed by Jayalalithaa and who were elected in party polls and passed a separate resolution nullifying the recent spate of appointments by Dhinakaran.It formally put its seal of approval on the merger of the factions led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam and resolved to retrieve the two-leaves symbol of the party, which was frozen by the Election Commission.The top party meet comes after the green signal by the Madras High Court, which yesterday declined a plea to stay the event.

‘If you have guts, let’s face fresh polls,’ Dhinakaran dares united AIADMK camp

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a day when the united AIADMK camp announced J Jayalalithaa as ‘eternal General Secretary’ and revoked the appointment of VK Sasikala from all party positions, her nephew TTV Dhinakaran refuses to call it quits.Hours after the AIADMK meeting, Dhinakaran reacted sharply to the latest development.Maintaining that the AIADMK General Council meet should be conducted only with the permission of her aunt Sasikala, Dhinakaran said, “It was not a general council meet. People who have attended are not general council members.”The leader also dared the EPS-OPS camp to face elections.“You (EPS-OPS) claim you have support of party workers, so if you have the guts, let us face fresh elections,” he said.Vowing to bring down the Tamil Nadu government, Dhinakaran said, “You (Chief Minister Palaniswami) and others have no moral right to sit in positions of power that was once wielded by Jayalalithaa. We will send this government home.”Earlier in the day, the AIADMK, in its general council meeting, passed a resolution, according to which jailed party general secretary VK Sasikala stands expelled from the party and the post of the temporary general secretary forfeited.The resolution further said that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, E Palanisamy and his deputy, O Panneerselvam, shall retrieve the party and its symbol.Other terms of the resolution state that all announcements by TTV Dinakaran stand cancelled.(With inputs from agencies)

Stalin meets TN Governor, demands EPS take floor test

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president MK Stalin met Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao on Sunday to stress the need for a strong front in the Assembly.Congress MLAs were also part of the delegation of opposition parties that met Rao in Chennai. The DMK leader demanded an immediate floor test from the Governor. He demanded an order for Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, seeking a vote of confidence and resolves the political crisis in the state. He apprised the Governor of the current tally of MLAs by his side. According to him, 119 MLAs are with him, as against the 114 with the Chief Minister, which is more than the majority which the assembly demands.He added that they have met the Governor a number of times and if he does not respond to the request within a week then he will ‘have to take legal resort and mobilise people’s mandate’. He also said that he will approach the people’s court as well.Earlier, Stalin warned of a “people’s struggle” to unseat the AIADMK government, if no action was taken. “This is not for grabbing power, but to safeguard the self-respect of the people of Tamil Nadu,” he said. The opposition leader’s comments have come at a time when Chief Minister Palaniswami is locked in a tussle for power with sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dhinakaran, who is seeking his ouster.In the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, which has one seat vacant (R K Nagar, represented by late J Jayalalithaa), the AIADMK has 134 MLAs, excluding the speaker. The opposition DMK has 89 legislators, its allies Congress eight and IUML one. The Dhinakaran camp has been pressing for the ouster of Palaniswami as chief minister since the factions, led by the latter and his predecessor O Panneerselvam respectively, merged on August 21. A group of 19 MLAs, loyal to Dhinakaran, had met the governor on August 22 and expressed lack of confidence in the chief minister, prompting the opposition parties to demand a floor test in the Assembly.Stalin also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that despite claiming to be from the backward class, he was doing “injustice” to the BC community in the country. The DMK leader said several problems, including farmer suicides and fishermen’s issues, had remained unsolved under the Modi regime, adding that the National Eligibility-cum- Entrance Test (NEET) was the latest in the list.

Amid calls for floor test, only 111 AIADMK MLAs attend CM Palaniswami’s meeting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid calls for a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly by the opposition parties, 111 MLAs of the ruling AIADMK in the state today attended a legislators’ meet convened by Chief Minister K Palaniswami here.State Fisheries Minister and senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar told reporters here that as many as 111 MLAs reposed their faith in the chief minister at the meeting.The development is being considered as a boost to Palaniswami, whose earlier meeting on August 28 reportedly witnessed a much less attendance with some claiming that only 75 MLAs were present at it.Jayakumar said the MLAs had “wholeheartedly extended their full cooperation” to the chief minister and an unanimous resolution was adopted reposing faith in his leadership.He also claimed that nine MLAs of the Dhinakaran camp had contacted Palaniswami over phone and extended their support to him.Also, three MLAs who are allies of the ruling party had promised their support to Palaniswami, he added.The Peravurani MLA had intimated that he would not be able to attend the meet as he was indisposed, Jayakumar said.He alleged that some legislators had been “illegally confined against their wishes” (at Puducherry) and asserted that the meet signalled the dashing of hopes of those who wanted to “thrust” an election on the people.The AIADMK has 134 MLAs in the 234-member state Assembly with one vacancy.

Dhinakaran faction ‘refuses’ to attend AIADMK MLAs meet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Still standing tall over Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s removal, the TTV Dhinakaran faction of the ruling AIADMK on Monday rejected an invite to participate in Tuesday’s party legislators’ meeting by the CM.Thangatamilselvan, MLA, a staunch loyalist of sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary Dhinakaran, said the dissident legislators had been contacted over phone from the party headquarters yesterday and invited for tomorrow’s meeting.”We asked them why we were not invited for a previous similar meeting,” he told reporters outside Dhinakaran’s residence here.The rebel MLAs were informed that it was ‘inadvertent’ and that such things would not recur, he said.He said that notwithstanding tomorrow’s meeting, there was no change in their demand that Palaniswami be removed as the chief minister, a plea the 19 dissident AIADMK MLAs had made with Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on August 22.When asked if the MLAs supporting Dhinakaran would press their demand in tomorrow’s meeting, Thangatamilselvan shot back saying “the question doesn’t arise since we are not attending it”.”There is no chance of going since our demand (of removing the chief minister) has not been fulfilled,” he said.The 19 MLAs made the demand a day after the AIADMK factions led by Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam merged. The strength of the camp has gone up to 21 with two more MLAs joining it. The MLAs are staying in neighbouring Puducherry.Palaniswami has convened the meeting of AIADMK MLAs tomorrow here, exactly a week ahead of the September 12 general council and executive meets of the party, which could take a call on the future of jailed party chief V K Sasikala and Dhinakaran in AIADMK.Palaniswami and Dhinakaran are involved in a tussle for power even as opposition parties including DMK have been demanding that the governor direct a floor test for the state government in the assembly to prove its strength.The chief minister’s camp had recently announced that Dhinakaran had been removed from the party on August 10 itself and hence changes being made by him in party posts were invalid.Meanwhile, the Dhinakaran camp got a shot in the arm with two Lok Sabha MPs today extending support to the sidelined leader.AIADMK’s Lok Sabha members B Senguttuvan (Vellore) and M Udhayakumar (Dindigul) met Dhinakaran here and expressed their support.Later, speaking to reporters, Senkuttuvan alleged that Tamil Nadu had “the most corrupt government in the country” and wanted Palaniswami to step down as chief minister.”Amma (late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa) had given an excellent rule. But the prevailing situation is a shame for all in Tamil Nadu,” he said.Senkuttuvan said the alleged suicide of Dalit student and medical aspirant Anitha, who had opposed National Entrance cum Eligibility Test in the Supreme Court, made them take a position against the government.Uthayakumar claimed that after the death of party supremo Jayalalithaa, her successor V K Sasikala had taken AIADMK forward and ensured the government survived following the February 2017 rebellion by present Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.Dhinakaran today sacked party’s Lok Sabha MP KRP Prabakaran as party’s Tirunelveli Rural District Secretary, replacing him with S S N Chokkalingam.

TTV Dhinakaran demands President ‘intervene’ in Tamil Nadu to deal with ‘extraordinary situation’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran demanded that the President intervene in Tamil Nadu as an “extraordinary situation” is prevailing in the state.Dhinakaran, who is involved in a power tussle with Chief Minister K Palaniswami, met the MLAs loyal to him who have been staying here for nearly two weeks.After the meeting, he said the legislators had not been herded and asserted that they were staying here on their own volition.Dhinakaran told reporters that an “extraordinary situation” was prevailing in Tamil Nadu.”The President (Ram Nath Kovind) and Governor should intervene in this extraordinary situation. We will wait for two more days and then decide next course of action,” the party’s deputy general secretary said.He had come here to hold discussions with his camp legislators, he added.The DMK, Congress and Left parties had met Kovind on August 31, demanding a floor test for the incumbent Palaniswami government in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.They had earlier knocked on Rao’s doors with a similar plea.To a question, Dhinakaran said his side has not sought an appointment with the president.The former MP said he wished to meet the MLAs but could not do so due to his busy work schedule.The MLAs had been staying here ever since they left Chennai following their meeting with Rao on August 22 where they had told him that they had lost confidence in Palaniswami and had sought his removal as chief minister.He said both Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam had “betrayed” AIADMK and people of the state.”A chief minister appointed by us has betrayed people and the party by joining hands with Panneerselvam who had earlier betrayed the party,” he alleged”How can a man who has betrayed a party that made him chief minister serve the people,” he said while referring to his camp’s demand for the removal of Palaniswami.On the governor informing a team of opposition leaders recently that he cannot intervene in AIADMK’s “internal affairs”, Dhinakaran said “we know why he said so,” but did not elaborate.”Our MLAs are revolutionaries. They will not back down,” he added.Indicating that his flock was united, Dhinakaran refuted reports that some of them had left the Union Territory or had wanted to leave.He said none of them had been herded at the Puducherry accommodation and said they had even left their homes and families for the cause they had taken up.”They are independent here,” he said.They rued not being able to serve their respective constituencies, Dhinakaran said, adding “but people in Tamil Nadu know they are here to protect their party and their government.”Responding to a question on the suicide of 17 year-old medical aspirant Anitha at Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu, he said the state “does not need NEET at all”.The girl had scored 1176 marks out 1200 in Class XII exams and if there was no NEET exam, she could have got admitted to a medical course, he said.Asked if the issue called for the resignation of Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, he said Palaniswami and Panneerselvam should quit.”Let them resign and we will set things right,” he said.He said people of Tamil Nadu will not accept anything “imposed” on them and referred to the anti-Hindi agitation of 1960s, a DMK-led initiative.

AIADMK factions divided over Sept 12 meetings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran on Friday asked office bearers from his faction to abstain from the general council and executive committee meetings called on September 12 by his rivals — Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam — after the merger of the two factions announced earlier last month. He contended that the meetings were illegal.The general council is set to decide on expelling jailed party general secretary VK Sasikala from the party post of general secretary.Dinakaran who is the nephew of Sasikala, is leading a rebellion opposing Palanisami with the support of 21 MLAs who were lodged in a resort in Puducherry for more than 10 days.In a statement issued here, Dinakaran said a meeting of the General Council can be convened only when one-fifth of the members give it in writing and it can be convened only by the General Secretary. According to him, only the now jailed general secretary Sasikala has the power to convene meetings of the General Council and Executive Committee. He said the September 12 meetings convened by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam were illegal. Urging party members not to attend them, Dinakaran warned that those who do, would face “strong action”.Rejecting his warning of strong action, Panneerselvam said that the GC would be held as planned. Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that Dinakaran has no authority to warn or take action.Hours after the warning, Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal re-issued notices to 19 dissident MLAs who wrote to the Governor withdrawing support from CM Palaniswami, asking why action should not be taken on them.The Speaker had issued the notices after the AIADMK Chief Whip recommended disqualification of 19 MLAs who gave letters to the Governor on August 22.Opposition parties led by DMK have been seeking a floor test for the Palaniswami government, whose support in the Assembly has reduced to 113 MLAs as against 117 required for a simple majority. They had petitioned the President and the Governor in this regard.

PIL in Madras HC against O Panneerselvam’s appointment as Tamil Nadu Dy CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A petition was on Tuesday filed in the Madras High Court challenging AIADMK leader O Pannerselvam taking oath as deputy chief minister.V Elangovan, an advocate, in his plea said that there was ‘no provision in the Constitution for the appointment of a deputy chief minister’.Pannerselvam took oath deputy chief minister contrary to the Constitution, he claimed.He should have taken oath only as a minister and not as deputy chief minister and hence his appointment is not valid, Elangovan claimed.According to the Constitution, there can be only chief minister and ministers, he said.He prayed for a court direction asking Pannerselvam to show cause under what authority of law he took oath as deputy chief minister and holding that position.Panneerselvam was sworn in as deputy chief minister on August 21 marking the unification of AIADMK factions led by him and Chief Minister K Palaniswami.

TN government grants 30-day ordinary leave to Rajiv Gandhi killer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Tamil Nadu government today granted a 30-day “ordinary leave” for A G Perarivalan alias Arivu, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, for the purpose of his father’s medical treatment.A government order was issued in this regard following a plea from Perarivalan’s mother Arputham.The grant of ordinary leave was given following an opinion from the Advocate General, according to a Home Department order.Relevant prison authorities had also ‘remarked,’ among other things, that the “ordinary leave can be granted on the condition that life convict Perarivalan should be provided with strong police escort during the period of leave,” it said.The DIG, Prisons, Vellore Range was directed to grant the ordinary leave according to relevant laws following the Advocate General’s opinion and provide a “strong police escort during the period of leave,” it said.Perarivalan is one the three male convicts serving life sentence in the high security Central Prison at Vellore, the other two being Murugan and Santhan.He has been lodged there since 1991.Another life convict in the case, Nalini Sriharan, wife of Murugan, is lodged in the women’s prison at Vellore.Perarivalan’s mother Arputham had earlier sought parole for her son, with political parties including the DMK lending support to the demand.His earlier parole pleas were rejected.Last month, when the issue of granting parole to him had come up in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said the government had sought the Advocate General’s opinion on the matter.Perarivalan was earlier brought to Chennai for medical treatment for a kidney problem.

TN CM, Deputy CM confident about AIADMK merger, say ‘none can topple this govt’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After the two factions of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu announced a merger, former chief minister O. Panneerselvam (OPS) and Chief Minister Edappady K. Palaniswami (EPS) hailed late former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s stronghold in the state, stating that no one has the power to topple the government brought together by Amma. Panneerselvam took to his Twitter handle to say, ?No one has the power to topple this government.? And ?AIADMK government will stand rigid for years.? On MGR’s birth centenary celebrations in Ariyalur, Panneerselvam said, ?I thank Amma for giving all the opportunities which made me stand here today. I also thank Chief Minister Palaniswami for giving me this opportunity as well. Amma made this government in a way that no one has the power to topple it. I’m greatful to how happy you all are.” Panneerselvam did not speak anything about AIADMK Deputy general secretary T. T. V. Dhinakaran or the party’s jailed chief V.K Sasikala during his speech. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Palaniswami also lauded Amma?s contribution towards the state government in holding it together. ?Amma had defeated many conspiracies during her time that is why she lives in hearts of millions, so no one can make this government fall. Some have always been trying to cause trouble to our government but that will never happen. This party was created and guided for long by M. G. Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa. As long as Amma’s soul with us, nothing will happen to our party nor the state,? Palaniswami said. Earlier on Monday, the two warring factions of the AIADMK – one led by Palaniswami and the other led by Panneerselvam announced a merger, citing that “MGR (M.G. Ramachandran) always wanted to see us united, not split.” The striking part of the merger is that EPS has taken a backseat in the party, declaring OPS as the convenor of the party. EPS will be the co-convenor. Palaniswami will continue to be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, while O. Panneerselvam (OPS) took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister under the merged AIADMK government in the state. Following the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured all support from the Centre to the Tamil Nadu government. The Prime Minister took to Twitter and said, “Centre assures all possible support to CM Edappadi K Palaniswami & Dy CM O Panneerselvam for the growth of Tamil Nadu.” However, the decision did not go down well with AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran, who dubbed the merger as a “business agreement between power hungry people.” Dinakaran’s supporters will also meet Tamil Nadu Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao on Tuesday seeking withdrawal of merger.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Palaniswami calls for unity amid rebellion by 18 AIADMK MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today said unity was the need of the hour to take the party and the AIADMK government forward, amid a threat to his government’s stability posed by 18 MLAs loyal to sidelined party deputy chief T T V Dhinakaran. Senior AIADMK leader and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, however, dismissed any threat to the government in the wake of revolt by the 18 MLAs, who have expressed lack of confidence in Palaniswami’s leadership. He said the state government was strong and there was no division in the party. On yet another day of hectic political developments in the state, Dhinakaran, nephew of jailed AIADMK chief V K Sasikala, sought to assert his authority by stripping four ministers of party posts while MLAs loyal to him continued to stay put in a resort in Puducherry. DMK’s ally Congress pitched for a floor test in the assembly, a day after the Dravidian party made a similar demand claiming 22 AIADMK MLAs had submitted letters to Governor Ch Vidayasagar Rao expressing lack of confidence in the chief minister. In the 234-member assembly, the AIADMK has 134 MLAs. Sasikala’s brother V Divakaran, meanwhile, claimed the Palaniswami ministry had “lost majority” and sought his resignation. “Such a government cannot continue. Palaniswami has to resign,” he told reporters at Kumbakonam. Thambidurai told reporters in Chennai that the “Tamil Nadu government under the leadership of Palaniswami is strong. There are no divisions,” he added. Palaniswami later made the comments on unity at a government function in Ariyalur where he shared the dais with his deputy O Panneerselvam for the first time after the merger of two AIADMK factions led by them. Addressing the centenary celebrations of AIADMK founder and late chief minister M G Ramachandran, the two leaders heaped praises on him and late chief minister J Jayalalithaa. Palaniswami said the recent merger of the two factions was done with the aim of fulfiling the dreams of Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa and expressed joy over today’s meeting. The chief minister, facing an attack from the Dhinakaran camp over the merger, stressed on unity to take the party and government forward. “We should strengthen the party and the government like siblings. That unity is the offering (apparently meaning gratitude) we make to Amma (Jayalalithaa),” he said. He also invoked the legacy of MGR and Jayalalithaa and said they had surmounted various challenges during their tenures and provided good governance, earning a place in the hearts of the people of the state. “None can ever separate the present government and AIADMK from the people’s hearts as long as it is guided by the spirit of the two great leaders and as long as spirit of Amma stood as a source of strength,” he said. Like Jayalalitha, he also narrated a short story of a godman making the residents of a village realise the value of unity. “People will not accept those as leaders who had not done any public service. MGR (Ramachandran) won hearts by public service. Amma later gave shape to his ideas,” he said. In his address at the function, Panneerselvam said Jayalalithaa had turned the AIADMK into “an iron fortress which cannot be shaken by anyone”. The “sacrifices” of Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa should be kept in mind to ensure the well-being of the people of the state and its growth, he added. A day after meeting the governor, the MLAs supporting the combative Dhinakaran, stayed put at a private resort in neighbouring Puducherry. They largely remained indoors. A few of them, including Andipatti MLA Thangatamilselvan, went out for morning walk at the beach there. Police personnel have been deployed outside the resort and media was not allowed to enter the premises. The local wing of the unified AIADMK burned effigies of Dhinakaran, nephew of Sasikala, near the resort and raised slogans against them. In a bid to assert his authority, Dhinakaran “relieved” four ministers — RB Uthayakumar, KC Veeramani, MR Vijayabaskar and R Kamaraj — of party posts. In separate statements, Dhinakaran announced the appointments of his aides to these posts and also relieved the district secretaries of Chennai (South), Kancheepuram, Thiruvallore (West) and Pudukottai of their duties. In the Dravidian parties’ hierarchy, district secretaries play a key role in the organisational growth. Dhinakaran also appointed a number of his supporters to various others posts including that of the organisation secretary, besides expanding the office-bearers list. The appointments were made with the “approval” of Sasikala, he said. The latest shake-up by Dhinakaran comes two days after the merger of the two factions, which has irked his followers. Under the arrangement, Panneerselvam was made deputy chief minister and the coordinator of the party. Palaniswami was named co-coordinator. It was also agreed that steps would be taken to expel Sasikala, which was a pre-condition for the merger. In the wake of differences in the ruling party, the DMK has demanded a floor test in the assembly to prove that the government was in a majority. In Puducherry, former MLA Om Sakthi Segar led the protest against Sasikala and Dhinakaran and submitted a petition to the district collector and SP asking them to instruct the MLAs to vacate the resort in the “larger interest of law and order”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AIADMK cadres protest outside Puducherry resort where MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran are staying

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) cadres supporting Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and Deputy Chief Minister Panneerselvam (OPS) on Wednesday staged a protest outside the resort in Puducherry where 18 dissident MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran are staying.MLAs supporting Dhinakaran checked into a seaside Windflower resort in Puducherry on Tuesday evening, after demanding a removal of EPS as Chief Minister.AIADMK cadres burned the effigy of Dhinakaran for opposing the merger and creating trouble for the AIADMK government.On Tuesday, MLAs owing allegiance to sidelined party Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, and demanded a change of Chief Minister.They submitted a letter to Governor saying that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) has lost their confidence by inducting OPS as deputy CM without consulting them.The MLAs also gave a separate letter to Governor withdrawing support to Chief Minister K Palaniswami government.The leader of the Opposition and DMK working president MK Stalin has also written to Governor urging him to direct Palanisami to prove his majority on the floor of the House.Rival AIADMK factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam on Monday merged, ending a nearly seven-month feud in a power-sharing formula in the ruling party and the government in which the latter was made the deputy chief minister.As the merger brought to an end weeks of suspense during which there was tough negotiations, the two factions said steps would be taken to expel party chief V K Sasikala.The merger facilitated the return of Panneerselvam to the government as Finance minister, isolating Deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew, and his camp.Calling each other ‘Annan'(elder brother), both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam described the merger as “historic”.

Crisis in AIADMK: 19 MLAs revolt, DMK seeks trust vote

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the merging of two rival AIADMK factions, the ruling party in Tamil Nadu is now facing a fresh crisis, with 19 dissident MLAs withdrawing their support to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday. This has reduced the government to a minority and the DMK has now written to the Governor, seeking a floor test in the Assembly. The 19 legislators are opposed to the merger of factions led by Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam, as they hold the latter responsible for the split in the party and subsequent freezing of the party symbol by the Election Commission (EC). They are also opposed to the move to throw out Sasikala, who is in jail.The ruling AIADMK government has been reduced to 116 MLAs, including the Speaker, in the 233-member House, excluding one vacant seat. In case of a trust vote, if all MLAs turn up for voting, it will still require 117 MLAs for a simple majority.The Opposition, consisting of 89 DMK MLAs, 8 Congress MLAs, and a lone IUML member, has 98 legislators in all.Besides, three MLAs — S Karunas, U Thaniyarasu, and Thameemun Ansari — who had contested the election on the AIADMK symbol, blamed the Centre’s interference in the state matters for all the confusion. “We will announce our support after taking into account the wishes of party officebearers and cadre,” they said in a joint statement.The dissident MLAs, who owed their allegiance to ousted AIADMK Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran, met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan to urge him to “intervene and institute the Constitutional process” as Palanisami had lost their confidence. Later, the legislators were taken to a Puducherry resort, for the second time this year, as Dinakaran wanted them to be together and away from the influence of the Palaniswami government.”I got disillusioned with the functioning of the government headed by Palaniswami as there has been an abuse of power, favouritism, misuse of government machinery, and widespread corruption,” identical letters submitted by the MLAs to the Governor stated.”We want a trust vote so that CM can be replaced,” MLA Thanga Tamilselvan said. He said some more MLAs would be joining them soon. Sasikala’s brother Divakaran said Palaniswami must resign on moral grounds and a new government should be formed.Creating more trouble for the Palanisami camp, he suggested that Speaker P Dhanapal, a Dalit, should become the next CM. With 33 MLAs, Dalits constitute the single-largest group of legislators in the party. Palanisami earned Dinakaran’s ire after being handpicked by Sasikala for the post of CM after Panneerselvam’s rebellion in February.Leader of the Opposition and DMK Working President MK Stalin also wrote to the Governor, urging him to direct Palanisami to prove his majority on the floor of the House.”Consequent upon the identical letters given by MLAs to the Governor, expressing lack of confidence on CM Palanisami, an unprecedented Constitutional crisis has erupted, in which the present government has lost its majority,” he wrote in a letter to the Governor.Commenting on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) role in the merger, Stalin said Prime Minister Narendra Modi helped merge the two “corrupt factions” in the state.Meanwhile, Palanisami held a meeting with Panneerselvam and senior ministers at the the Secretariat but the outcome of that discussion is yet to be known.

Dhinakaran removes senior functionary from party

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakran today announced that senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithilingam has been removed from the party. The move came a day after Vaithilingam, a loyalist of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, said steps would be taken for the removal of jailed party chief V K Sasikala from the AIADMK. Vaithilingam, AIADMK’s Thanjavur (South) district secretary, was being removed from all posts, besides primary membership for “going against the party’s policies and bringing disrepute” to it, Dhinakaran said. “I request party workers to not to have any truck with him,” Dhinakaran said in a statement. He added that the announcement was being made with the “approval” of Sasikala who is serving her jail term in the disproportionate wealth case in a Bengaluru prison. During the merger of the two AIADMK factions yesterday, Vaithilingam had said measures would be initiated soon to expel Sasikala from the party, conceding to a key demand made by the faction led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam for the unification. Vaithilingam, a former minister, was named party deputy coordinator during the merger event at the AIADMK headquarters here.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘EPS lost our confidence by inducting OPS’: 19 MLAs in Dhinakaran camp withdraw support to CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the two factions of the ruling AIADMK merged, MLAs owing allegiance to sidelined party Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, and demanded a change of Chief Minister.MLAs supporting TTV submitted a letter to Governor saying that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) has lost their confidence by inducting OPS as deputy CM without consulting them.The MLAs also gave a separate letter to Governor withdrawing support to Chief Minister K Palaniswami government.”We have demanded a change of CM,” said MLA Thanga Thamilselvan. It was Panneerselvam (OPS) who split the party resulting freezing of the party symbol, he added.”Governor has assured as to consider our demand,” Thamilselvan said.Thanga Tamilselvan had also questioned why EPS was giving importance to Panneerselvam, “who has just nine MLAs” with him, whereas it was the 122 MLAs of the AIADMK Amma faction who had voted for the government in the February 18 trust vote.Rival AIADMK factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam merged, ending a nearly seven-month feud in a power-sharing formula in the ruling party and the government in which the latter was made the deputy chief minister. ALSO READ AIADMK merger: Clown’s cap being foisted on the head of Tamil Nadu people, says Kamal HaasanAs the merger brought to an end weeks of suspense during which there was tough negotiations, the two factions said steps would be taken to expel party chief V K Sasikala.The merger facilitated the return of Panneerselvam to the government as Finance minister, isolating Deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew, and his camp.Calling each other ‘Annan'(elder brother), both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam described the merger as “historic”.

MLAs supporting Dhinakaran to meet Guv tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after the two factions of the ruling AIADMK merged, MLAs owing allegiance to sidelined party Deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran today said they would meet Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao tomorrow. “We have sought an appointment with the governor tomorrow and he has given time at 10 AM. We will be meeting him and hold consultations,” key Dhinakaran aide and legislator P Vetrivel said. A vocal voice of the Dhinakaran camp, Vetrivel was part of a group of MLAs who went to the burial site of former chief minister Jayalalithaa at the Marina beach and meditated for about 15 minutes before disclosing their plans. Asked what will be the agenda of the meeting with the governor, Vetrivel said it would not be proper to reveal it to the media before the meeting. Another MLA, Thanga Tamilselvan, questioned why Chief Minister K Palaniswami was giving importance to Panneerselvam, “who has just nine MLAs” with him, whereas it was the 122 MLAs of the AIADMK Amma faction who had voted for the government in the February 18 trust vote. “If we had sided with OPS (Panneerselvam), this government would not have survived. What is our situation now, who is responsible for our safety? We stayed together to ensure Amma (Jayalalithaa) government continued,” he said. He said Palaniswami should have “consulted us” before the merger, and claimed that the Dhinakaran faction enjoyed the support of 25 MLAs. Tamilselvan asserted that it was jailed party chief V K Sasikala who had made both Panneerselvam and Palaniswami chief ministers. “We have expressed our grievance with Amma by shedding tears (at the memorial). Very soon there will be good news,” he said. He said it was Panneerselvam, Palaniswami and others who had projected Sasikala both as party chief and later for the chief minister’s post. Vetrivel said none had the “authority or right” to remove Sasikala as general secretary and that only she had the right to convene the decision making body, the General Council, and decide on appointing and expelling persons. In her absence, it was her deputy Dhinakaran who could do that, he added. Earlier in the day, rival AIADMK factions led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam merged, ending a nearly seven- month feud.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Panneerselvam inducted in TN govt, PM assures support

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured all possible support to the E K Palaniswami government of Tamil Nadu in which O Panneerselvam was inducted as Deputy Chief Minister following merger of two AIADMK factions. Soon after the swearing-in, Modi congratulated Panneerselvam and others who took oath. “I congratulate Thiru O Panneerselvam & others who took oath today. I hope Tamil Nadu scales newer heights of progress in the years to come,” the prime minister tweeted. “Centre assures all possible support to CM Thiru Edappadi K. Palaniswami & Dy CM Thiru O Panneerselvam for the growth of TN,” he added in another tweet. Panneerselvam, former chief minister of Tamil Nadu who headed rebel AIADMK faction before the merger, was administered the oath of office and secrecy in Chennai by Governor Vidyasagar Rao. He was interim chief minister twice when Jayalalithaa stepped down due to cases against her, and then chief minister following her death on December 5, 2016. His close aide K Pandiarajan was sworn-in as minister for Tamil official language and Tamil culture.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Palaniswami inducts OPS in Cabinet, swearing in at 4.30 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a post-merger reshuffle of his Cabinet, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today inducted O Panneerselvam as his Deputy. The CM also accommodated Panneerselvam aide K Pandiarajan in the Cabinet, while re-allocating portfolios among existing ministers following the formal merger of the two factions of AIADMK. A release from the Raj Bhavan said Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has on the recommendation of the Chief Minister inducted Panneerselvam and Pandiarajan in the state Cabinet. The Governor has also accepted the recommendation of Palaniswami to designate O Panneerselvam as Deputy Chief Minister, it said. “The swearing-in of the Deputy Chief Minister and the new Minister (Pandiarajan) will be held today at 4.30 PM,” it said. Panneerselvam has been allotted Finance, a portfolio held by D Jayakumar, besides Housing, Rural Housing and Housing Development, Slum Clearance Board and Accommodation Control, Town Planning, Urban Development and CMDA hitherto held by Udumalai K Radhakrishnan. Jayakumar also holds the Fisheries portfolio and that remains with him. Pandiarajan has been given Tamil Official Language and Tamil culture, besides Archaelogy, hitherto held by Sevoor S Ramachandran and K A Sengottaiyan, respectively, the release said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Talks on merger moves a step forward: O Panneerselvam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rebel AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam today said talks on the merger of factions led by him and Chief Minister K Palaniswami have moved a step forward and a “good” decision would be reached shortly. “I had informed that the merger talks are already progressing smoothly. It has progressed one more step…A good decision will be attained shortly as desired by you,” he told reporters here after a meeting with his party functionaries. Yesterday, Panneerselvam had said that talks on the merger of the factions were going on smoothly and a positive result was expected in a “day or two”. Palaniswami, too, had said he was confident that “both the factions would merge soon”. In Erode, AIADMK Amma faction veteran and Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan echoed him. “It will be good decision and it will happen to the liking of the cadres and people,” he told reporters referring to the ‘positive views’ expressed by both Panneerselvam and Palaniswami. Party sources indicated the merger might fructify tomorrow if an agreement was reached on the question of Sasikala’s “formal expulsion,” as demanded by the Panneerselvam faction. There were also some issues like the role envisaged for top functionaries of Panneerselvam camp including K P Munusamy and E Madhusudanan in the unified party, they said. The merger talks have gained momentum after Palaniswami on August 17 announced that a inquiry commission would be set up to probe the death of late chief minister Jayalalithaa and her Poes Garden residence would be converted into a memorial, two of the key demands put forth by Panneerselvam camp. Though the merger was expected to materialise on Friday night, it did not come through amid reported divergent views among the members of the Panneerselvam faction. However, Panneerselvam cleared the air yesterday, saying a positive result was expected in a day or two. Panneerselvam, a former chief minister, had revolted against the leadership of jailed party chief V K Sasikala in February last, causing a split in the party.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AIADMK merger likely in ‘a day or two’, says Pannerselvam; Dhinakaran faction warns Tamil Nadu CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While contrary to speculations, AIADMK merger didn’t happen on Friday, it may happen sooner than latter if the warring politicians are to be believed. Both O Pannerselvam and E Palaniswami on Saturday assured their supporters that talks are advancing smoothly. OPS’ demand for oustering Sasikala as one of the pre-conditions for merger has led to stalling of talks so far, according to sources. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam on Saturday expressed confidence it will happen soon with the latter saying a positive result was expected in “a day or two.” Palaniswami, who is in Tiruvarur to take part in AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran’s centenary celebrations, said he was confident that “both the factions would merge soon”.Panneerselvam, a former chief minister and leader of AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma faction, earlier in the day said in Chennai that the merger talks were going on smoothly and a positive result was expected in “a day or two.” As the warring factions headed for a merger, the T T V Dhinakaran faction warned the chief minister that he would be replaced if his activities did not go down well with the party.The chief minister said difference of opinion between the two factions had emerged earlier and that they were now being addressed through discussions. “I am happy to inform that both the factions will merge soon,” he told reporters at Tiruvarur in Thanjavur district. Responding to a query on whether MLAs of Panneerselvam faction would get a berth in the cabinet, Palaniswami merely said, “discussions are going on.” “(AIADMK Supremo and former Chief Minister) Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (Jayalalithaa who is fondly called as Amma) has been guarding the party as her own eyelid. She has given various schemes and projects for the benefit of the people,” he said.Panneerselvam, who is scheduled to leave for Madurai tomorrow to attend a meeting, said a positive result was expected in “a day or two.” “Talks are going on smoothly. A positive result is expected in a day or two,” he told reporters in Chennai. The much expected merger between the two factions last night had failed to come off following reported divergent views among the members of the OPS faction.This included the demand of certain members for a CBI inquiry into former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death as against the announcement of an inquiry commission to be headed by a retired High Court judge.Meanwhile, Dhinakaran, the sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary, held deliberations with his supporters at his residencein Chennai. A Dhinakaran loyalist Palaniappan, a former minister and an MLA, warned Palaniswami that he would be replaced as chief minister if his activities did not go down well with the party.Talking to reporters after attending the meeting convened by Dhinakaran, Palaniappan said, “Our (AIADMK) rule is like a bus journey. We appointed the driver (O Panneerselvam) to take the bus (AIADMK rule) to the intended destination enabling the passengers to reach safe and secure.” “Since, his (Pannerselvam) activities did not go down well with the party, we replaced him with Palaniswami (as the chief minister). But, if his (Palaniswami) activities did not go well (while leading the party), we will definitely take action to replace him,” Palaniappan said.

Positive result on merger in a day or two: Panneerselvam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Talks on the merger of the two AIADMK factions are going on smoothly and a positive result is expected in a day or two, former chief minister O Panneerselvam said today. He was speaking after leaders of the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction led by him met here for informal discussions on the merger issue following last night’s inconclusive patch-up bid, and to chart out their future course of action. Panneerselvam, who is scheduled to leave for Madurai tomorrow to attend a meeting there, was expected to elicit the opinion of the faction leaders here to arrive at any firm view on the merger issue. The talks are going on smoothly. A positive result is expected in a day or two, he told reporters. Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Palaniswami has left for Tiruvarur in Thanjavur district to take part in the MGR centenary function. The much expected merger last night had failed to come off following reported divergent views among the members of the OPS faction. This included the demand of certain members for a CBI inquiry into late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death as against the announcement of an inquiry commission to be headed by a retired High Court judge. There were also reports of hard bargaining on party and cabinet posts by Palaniswami-led AIADMK (Amma) faction and the OPS group. Meanwhile, sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dhinakaran held deliberations with supporters at his residence here. Dhinakaran, who spoke to reporters yesterday after meeting his aunt and party general secretary V K Sasikala at a Bengaluru jail on her birthday yesterday, had downplayed the expected merger of the AIADMK factions saying it would not have any longevity and that it was not a ‘setback’ to him. Amid speculation of an imminent merger of the two factions, several AIADMK MLAs of both the groups had congregated at the mausoleum of Jayalalithaa at the Marina beach here. Police personnel were deployed in a large number at the memorial with members of the public who wanted to offer their respects to Jayalalithaa fondly called as “Amma” (Mother) being prevented from entering the burial site. Two special wreaths were also kept ready apparently to enable Palaniswami and Panneerselvam to offer their respects at the burial site. After it became clear that the merger talks would be deferred, the wreaths were removed and public was allowed to enter the burial site later.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jayalalithaa’s memorial back in the spotlight

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As soon as news spread about the leaders of the two AIADMK factions arriving at the burial site of former party supremo J Jayalalithaa to pay their respects as part of merger talks, the memorial here was buzzing with activity and was under thick security cover today. Supporters of AIADMK Amma and AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi factions descended at the memorial near the shores of Marina, as there was a strong rumour that their respective leaders – Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam – would formally announce the merger of the factions at the memorial. Party sources said, after paying their respects to Jayalalithaa, the two leaders would visit the party headquarters along with their supporters. Following the development, police personnel were deployed in large numbers at the memorial with members of the public who wanted to offer their respects to Jayalalithaa fondly called as “Amma” (Mother) were prevented from entering the burial site. Two special wreaths were also kept so as to enable Palaniswami and Panneerselvam to offer their respects at the burial site. As the merger talks remained inconclusive, the wreaths were removed and the public were allowed to enter the burial site later. It may be recalled that Panneerselvam after meditating at the memorial nearly for 40 minutes in February this year, revealed that he was forced to resign from the chief minister’s post in order clear the way for the now-jailed V K Sasikala to lead the party.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Deepa opposes plans to convert Jaya’s residence into memorial

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Late chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa has opposed the Tamil Nadu government’s plans to convert her aunt’s residence here into a memorial, saying she would take legal steps against it. Chief Minister K Palaniswami had yesterday announced that his government would appoint a commission of inquiry to probe the death of Jayalalithaa and convert her ‘Veda Nilayam’ residence into a memorial. Deepa said she has the “moral and legal rights” to stake claim to the Poes Garden property and termed the announcement by the chief minister a “drama” while alleging that there was some motive behind it. “We were not consulted on converting it (the residence) into a memorial. We will take legal action against it (the government plans),” Deepa told reporters here yesterday. She had taken the political plunge months after her aunt’s demise and had launched the MGR Amma Deepa Peravai on February 24, the birth anniversary of Jayalalithaa. Deepa had filed her nomination for the April 12 by- election to R K Nagar Assembly seat, which was previously held by Jayalalithaa. The bypoll was later rescinded by the Election Commission following alleged use of money power.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Stalin dubs probe into Jaya’s death as ‘eyewash’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition DMK today dubbed as an ‘eyewash’ the probe ordered into the death of late chief minister Jayalalithaa, saying if the Palaniswami regime was truly interested in going into the ‘mysteries’, it should prefer a CBI investigation. DMK Working President M K Stalin also demanded the resignation of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his cabinet to facilitate a ‘fair’ probe by CBI. Stalin, the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, said the move was “an eyewash” and a plan to facilitate the merger of the two rival factions led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam and Palaniswami to continue “corruption” without any arguments or problems among them. He had earlier demanded a probe by a sitting high court judge. Stalin’s party colleague T K S Elangovan said the probe move was aimed at easing out jailed party chief V K Sasikala and her family from politics. In his reaction, PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss demanded a CBI probe and described the announcement of an Inquiry Commission as a “part of a political gimmick.” He described such inquiries as a “ritual” of “no use” and added that it was to satisfy “some”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No link between TN Govt and AIADMK: Dhinakaran

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Intensifying his fight against the Chief Minister K Palaniswami led camp, beleaguered AIADMK (Amma) Deputy Chief T T V Dhinakaran today claimed there was no link between the CM-led government and the party. He alleged that some ministers and office-bearers were working to “capture the party through the back door” and asked them to reform themselves. It is true that the incumbent (led by Palaniswami) regime in Tamil Nadu was put in place by party general secretary V K Sasikala, he told reporters here to a question on allegations by actor Kamal Haasan against the government. In the same breath, he added “however, there is no link between the party (AIADMK-Amma) and the government.” By making this dramatic assertion, the beleaguered leader has taken his fight against the chief minister’s camp several notches up, reinforcing his stand that the party and cadres are behind him and that Palaniswami does not enjoy support of the party rank. At a time when there are expectations that Palaniswami camp would soon join hands with former chief minister and rebel leader Panneerselvam’s group, Dhinakaran said only Palaniswami has to respond to charges against the government. Yesterday Kamal Haasan had virtually called for Palaniswami’s resignation over alleged corruption. Dhinakaran said that at a time when allegations were continuously being leveled against the government, those at the helm did not have the courage to face it. “Hence some ministers and functionaries are working to divert attention. They are also trying to capture the party through the back door,” he said and recalled his view that they should either give it up, or they would be reformed. Recalling a recent resolution against him, Dhinakaran said the Palaniswami camp has claimed it to be true and valid. In its August 10 resolution, the Palaniswami camp had delegitimised Dhinakaran’s appointment as AIADMK Deputy General Secretary, sending signals that the CM’s camp would go in for a rapproachement with the Panneerselvam faction. Giving a veiled threat to nudge the Palaniswami camp to join hands with him, Dhinkaran said, “They should ponder about these allegations and take the right path, the path laid by Amma and if they do not do that they will for sure face danger (to the government).”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

TN’s higher edn has climbed to 44.3 per cent: CM Palaniswami

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today said the state’s enrolment percentage in higher education has increased to 44.3 per cent from 21 per cent in the last six years. Addressing the birth centenary celebrations of former chief minister and AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran, Palaniswami said,”while at the national level it is only at 24.5 per cent, in Tamil Nadu it is at 44.3 per cent.” He said Tamil Nadu was the only state to allocate more funds for the education sector. Speaking to reporters later, he exuded confidence that “good thing” will happen on the issue of getting exemption for the state from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test. Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said recently that the Centre will cooperate with Tamil Nadu if it brings in an ordinance seeking exemption for government colleges from NEET for one year. Responding to her remarks, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar had said an ordinance in this regard would be submitted to the Centre. The development comes after Palaniswami, state ministers and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai had multiple meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other central ministers over NEET. Responding to a query on the topmost priority of his administration, Palaniswami said for the development of a state, agriculture and industry were like “two eyes”. “The Amma Government has been giving first preference to development of industry and agriculture,” he said. Noting that drought was one of the most important issues of the state, Palaniswami said, “we are seeing drought which was not experienced in the last 140 years.” “Due to drought, there is also not sufficient rainfall and these factors have led to water scarcity.AIADMK government has been taking steps to address the issue,” he said. On why actor Kamal Haasan was posting a series of tweets reportedly attacking him, Palaniswami said, “you have to ask only him”. Yesterday, the actor had virtually sought Palaniswami’s resignation over alleged corruption. “If one state’s CM should resign for a mishap & corruption under his govt. How come no party calls for resignation in TN. Enough crimes done,” Haasan said without naming anyone. Palaniswami said, the year long celebrations was being conducted commemorating birth centenary of M G Ramachandran, as per the vision of the former AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa. “So far it has been conducted successfully in six places across the State,” he said. The chief minister also inaugurated a Rs. 260 crore Joint Drinking water project for Cuddalore district. Cuddalore port will be upgraded at the cost of Rs.115 crore, he said, adding, check dams will be set up in all districts at a cost of Rs.355 crore. Palaniswami also visited a photo-exhibition organised in memory of the AIADMK Founder that was inaugurated by Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan on the occasion. Several AIADMK Ministers including School Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan and Cooperative Minister Sellur K Raju participated, sources said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Merger of AIADMK factions soon: TN minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior AIADMK (Amma) leader Tamil Nadu minister K A Sengottaiyan today said the much anticipated merger of the two factions of the ruling party will happen soon. “There is a chance of the two factions led by O Panneerselvam and chief minister (K Palaniswami) merging soon. You can expect that soon,” he told reporters here. Asked if Panneerselvam factions’s demands have been met, the education minister said discussions were going on in that regard and that “it cannot be revealed.” The Panneerselvam-led Puratchi Thalaivi Amma faction had set as preconditions for talks with the Amma camp –a probe into the death of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, besides removal of jailed AIADMK chief V K Sasikala and her family members from the AIADMK. Sengottaiyan also denied the BJP “playing a key role” in the merger, saying that the saffron party had only indicated that it wanted continuance of the Amma government following the unification process. Discussions are on over the merger and a “good decision” will be taken soon, he said. “The two factions will unite. There need not be any apprehension,” the education minister added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Palaniswami in I-Day speech:Smashing all hurdles, govt working

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami today said his government was working with the sole aim of public service by “smashing all hurdles before us.” In his address after unfurling the tricolour at Fort St. George here on the occasion of the 71st Independence Day, the CM said his government’s slogan was ‘all-round development’, inspired by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa. It was his first Independence Day address as CM after taking over in February following a revolt in the AIADMK, Palaniswami recalled the contribution of freedom fighters from Tamil Nadu and announced raising their pension from Rs 12,000 to Rs 13,000. The family pension provided to their kin would be hiked from Rs 6,000 to Rs 6,500, the Chief Minister said. “We are working with the sole aim of public service by smashing all the hurdles before us, with the slogan of all- round development,” Palaniswami said, though he did not elaborate on the “hurdles”. However, it comes at a time when he is locked in a tussle with his AIADMK (Amma) faction’s sidelined Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran, who launched state-wide public meeting yesterday in an apparent show of strength. Recently, the Amma faction had questioned the authority of Dhinakaran in the party affairs, days after he had appointed his aides to key posts, and had asked party workers not to give credence to those appointments. Since then, Dhinakaran has been issuing veiled warnings to Palaniswami on the fate of the government. The party had already suffered a split in February when former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had revolted against its chief VK Sasikala, now in jail in a disproportionate assets case, alleging he was forced to make way for her to the state’s top post. A keenly anticipated merger of the two factions, headed by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, is also witnessing a delay. Palaniswami, who described late CM Jayalalithaa as the “eighth wonder of the world,” said she led the state on the path of development and as a result Tamil Nadu was progressing fast in many sectors. That is why the people of the state gave her successive mandates, the Chief Minister said. The current government is carrying forward the work initiated by her, he added. He said that late Jayalalithaa and party founder M G Ramachandran were patriots and that is why they could take the state on the path of development. He said the success of Independence lies in easy availability of individual needs such as food, education and jobs. “On that count, Tamil Nadu has made tremendous development. It has progressed in all sectors.” He mentioned various welfare initiatives of his government including on education, public health, agriculture and fisheries sectors. He said the state is a preferred investment destination, thanks to uninterrupted power supply, skilled labour and other favourable factors. Later, he gave away various awards, including the Kalpana Chawla Award for Courage and Daring Enterprise. The award was presented to S Preethi, a former captain of the Tamil Nadu U-19 cricket team. An accident had left her a quadriplegic and confined to a wheelchair, but she had reached out to persons affected with spinal cord injuries through her trust ‘Soul Free’, the government said. “This trust has been transforming the lives of people affected with spinal cord injuries through employment, vocational training, education and development,” it said. She was being presented with the award for “her mental grit reconciling her physical status reaching out to the needy,” it added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Demeaning to say PM Modi is involved in solving AIADMK’s internal problem: Panneerselvam faction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The O Panneerselvam faction of the AIADMK today quashed speculation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s involvement in solving internal issues of the party and said it would be “demeaning” to think so.Speaking to reporters, Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan said, “It will be demeaning to say that the PM is involved in solving the internal affairs of another political party.” Ever since the AIADMK broke into two factions, representatives of both the camps have been meeting PM Modi and other top brass of the BJP giving space for speculation that the saffron party was meddling with internal issues of the AIADMK.The press interaction was held after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam today met PM Modi at his residence and apprised him about the political situation in the state. “Prevailing atmosphere in the state under the present regime, feeling of AIADMK cadres and opinion of the public has been expressed to the PM,” said Panneerselvam.However, he refused to divulge the nitty gritty of the discussion, particularly after the AIADMK Amma faction led by chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami “delegitimised” TTV Dhinakaran’s position in the party moving a step forward for merger of both camps. “Decisions which suit the best for the people of the state will be taken,” Panneerselvam said.Notably, CM Palaniswami had also met PM Modi last week. Later, he had said that only talks related to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test took place in the meeting.

AIADMK factions will unite soon, say TN ministers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two senior Tamil Nadu ministers today exuded confidence that AIADMK factions, one led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and the other by his predecessor O Panneerselvam, will soon come together and the government would complete its full five-year term. “What is going on at present is disagreement between brothers, which will be settled amicably at the earliest,” Forest Minister Dindigul Srinivasan told reporters here. Separately, Cooperation Minister Sellur L Raju said that “we will work together to fulfil the dreams of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa”. The process of merger of the two factions is going on for the last seven months and the days were not far for them to coming together, Srinivasan said. “The present government would complete its full term,” he added. About T T V Dhinakaran, nephew of jailed party general secretary V K Sasikala, reportedly calling chief minister E K Palaniswami a ‘420’ (used to refer to people who cheat), Srinivasan said it could have been due to a slip of tongue, as he had clarified later and there was no need to play it up further. However, the minister said he was not aware of Palaniswami calling Dhinakaran a ‘420’. To a question on reports of O Paneerselvam becoming the deputy chief minister, Srinivasan said it had come out in some sections of the press. Any fact would be revealed by Palaniswami, as both the party and government are working under him, he said. “His opinion is my opinion.” Meanwhile, in a separate press conference, Cooperation Minister Sellur L Raju, on his way to Udhagamandalam, said he alone could not take a decision on participation in the MGR centenary celebrations convened by Dhinakaran in Melur on August 14. A decision would be taken after consultation with Palaniswami and other ministers, he added. The government was ready to rectify the shortcomings pointed out by anybody, be it Dhinakaran or other leaders and provide good governance, he said. Stating that nobody can create confusion among AIADMK workers, Raju said not a single worker has switched over to any party including the DMK so far, which is a clear indication of the unity among the cadres. “To fulfil the dreams of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, we will work together,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Stalin fishing in troubled waters: BJP on his ‘no-confidence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP today attacked DMK leader MK Stalin over his announcement of moving a no-confidence motion against the AIADMK government saying he is “trying to fish in troubled waters”. In the backdrop of likely merger of two AIADMK factions after the removal of TTV Dhinakaran as AIADMK (Amma) deputy general secretary, Stalin had said on Friday DMK would move a no-confidence motion against the government “if required”. “DMK working president Stalin is trying to fish in troubled waters. When he says he will move a no-confidence motion if required, it shows he is not confident about that,” BJP state unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan told reporters here. She said the announcement was made with the intention of keeping the media spotlight on Stalin, who is also the Leader of Opposition. Speculation are also rife that post-merger, the AIADMK might join the BJP-led NDA. The BJP is aiming to make inroads in the southern state where it has just one Lok Sabha MP and no representation in the 234-member Assembly. Palaniswami, who was sworn-in as chief minister following a revolt by his predecessor O Panneerselvam against jailed party chief V K Sasikala earlier this year, had won a trust vote on February 18 in the Assembly. On BJP National President Amit Shah’s upcoming three-day tour of Tamil Nadu starting August 22, Soundararajan said it was aimed at strengthening party’s “fundamental structure”. Besides interacting with party office-bearers, Shah is scheduled to meet a range of people, including scholars and others from various fields, she added. With an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP national president is travelling across country to strategise and find ways to strengthen the party at grassroots level. The BJP-led Centre and the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu are maintaining “cordial” relations to ensure delivery of the their various good schemes, Soundararajan said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Declare Sasikala, Dhinakaran’s posts as invalid in AIADMK: OPS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With AIADMK (Amma) faction severing ties with TTV Dhinakaran, the party’s O Panneerselvam camp today again demanded before the Election Commission to declare the posts of Sasikala Natarajan and Dhinakaran as invalid in the AIADMK. AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala Natarajan had appointed her nephew TTV Dhinakaran as her deputy hours before she was sent to a jail in Bengaluru. However, yesterday a resolution passed in a party meeting headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami declared that Dhinakaran’s elevation was in violation of party bylaws. A delegation of AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma camp of O Panneerselvam today submitted an affidavit along with the resolution with the poll panel to back their demands. “We had already urged the EC to declare position of AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala and deputy GS TTV Dhinakaran as invalid as it was against party constitution. The resolution which was passed yesterday adds strength to our case,” senior leader K P Munusamy. MLA K Pandiarajan, former MP Manoj Pandian and former state minister Natham R Viswanathan were other members in the delegation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Madras HC permits Stalin to inspect water bodies across TN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today permitted DMK working president M K Stalin to inspect desilting work, claimed to be carried out by DMK cadres, in water bodies in the state, with prior information to the district collector and superintendent of police concerned. The court also allowed him to visit Kacharayankuttai Tank in Konganapuram in Salem district, which falls under Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s assembly constituency. Justice M Duraiswamy passed the order on a petition by DMK’s legal wing secretary M K Giririjan which alleged that the state government was preventing Stalin from visiting water bodies which were being desilted by DMK workers. The judge noted that no case had been registered against the DMK leader in connection with his visits to water bodies and hence preventing him from visiting Kacharayankuttai Tank in Konganapuram was violative of Article 19 of the Constitution. Referring to the submission by the respondents that Stalin can visit any place in the state except Kacharayankuttai Tank, the judge observed that it only proved the mala fide intention of the authorities. He also said even assuming that the state government was desilting water bodies and tanks, a person cannot be prevented from visiting or inspecting them since they do not belong to any individual. “In these circumstances, I am of the view that the respondents should not prevent M K Stalin from visiting any place in the state of Tamil Nadu, for inspecting water bodies, tanks, etc,” the judge said. “However, since the respondents have stated that if Stalin inspects water bodies and tanks, it would create law and order problem, I am of the view that the number of persons accompanying Stalin, Leader of the Opposition, can be restricted to 25,” he said. Justice Duraiswamy also directed the government to give suitable directions to the respective district collectors and superintendent of police or commissioner of police for giving adequate police protection at the time of visit of Stalin. The DMK in its petition wanted the court to restrain the state government from preventing Stalin from visiting any part of Tamil Nadu to inspect water bodies, where desilting work was taken up. The main opposition party filed the petition after Stalin was detained in Coimbatore by police last month en route to Salem to visit Kacharayankuttai tank and also to participate in a human chain protest on the NEET issue. The state government had opposed the petition the ground that such a relief may lead to breach of law and order.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AIADMK merger likely after TTV Dinakaran ouster

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After weeks of wrangling, the two warring factions of AIADMK seemed to be moving closer towards a merger on Thursday, with the Chief Minister EK Palaniswami declaring TTV Dinakaran’s appointment as deputy general secretary “illegal” under party bylaws.The ruling AIADMK faction’s decision came in the wake of talks of an imminent reunion of the two camps led by Palanisami and former CM O Panneerselvam.A resolution signed by 27 office bearers including Palanisami, adopted at a meeting convened at the party headquarters on Thursday, declared that Dinakaran’s appointment violated party bylaws. “Since he has not been a member of the party for five years, he cannot hold any post in the party,” the resolution said, pointing to Dinakaran’s expulsion from primary membership of the party by late CM Jayalalithaa in December 2011.Rejecting the resolution adopted against him, Dinakaran warned of “surgical action” against Palanisami and others if the situation warrants. “They said something outside and have stated something different in the affidavit furnished with the EC. They have endorsed Sasikala’s appointment as party general secretary and mine as well. I will give you a copy of the affidavit filed by the CM,” he said and claimed that such an attitude amounted to “cheating”.Panneerselvam said, “We are keenly watching the political situation. Our decision, which will be taken soon, will be reflective of the expectations of the people and the aspirations of the AIADMK supporters.”‘ILLEGAL’ APPOINTMENTJailed party Gen Secy Sasikala re-inducted nephew Dinakaran into the party on February 14 after the SC convicted her in Jayalalithaa’s disproportionate asset case. His appointment was in violation of party bylaw 30 (V).

Dhinkaran camp hits back at Palaniswami; calls him ‘traitor’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The TTV Dhinkaran camp in AIADMK today hit out at Chief Minister K Palaniswami for questioning the authority of the Deputy General Secretary, terming it as a “betrayal” and warned him of a backlash. Two senior leaders of the Dhinakaran camp also called Palaniswami a “traitor”. AIAMDK’s Karnataka unit secretary and Dhinakaran loyalist V Pugazhenthi termed as a “drama”, the AIADMK Amma faction led by Palaniswami questioning the authority of Dhinakaran, besides that of jailed party chief V K Sasikala. “These decisions are not binding on us. Party supporters will not accept this. They have poked their eyes with their own fingers,” he told reporters. “We are holding consultations with our Deputy General Secretary (Dhinakaran). Anything can happen. This is the peak of betrayal where Palaniswami has ventured into,” he said. Such decisions cannot be taken by a few office-bearers, as was done today, but is a larger exercise with a number of them required to take decisions, Pugazhenthi said. He vowed “to teach a lesson to traitors.” The leader also alleged the possibility of role of former chief minister and rebel faction chief O Panneerselvam in today’s developments. “There could be behind the screens agreement with Panneerselvam,” he alleged. Another Dhinakaran loyalist, Nanchil Sampath, said the Chief Minister-led camp had come out with a “unilateral announcement” questioning the former’s authority. “By doing such a thing, Panneerslevam has got an important place in the list of traitors. History has seen many traitors and this is another betrayal,” he said. He questioned the Palaniswami camp’s reasoning that Dhinakaran’s appointment was not valid for the fact that he had not been a member of the party for five years prior to the appointment, since the late Chief Minister and party supremo J Jayalalithaa had expelled him in 2011. Sampath recalled he had quit the Vaiko-led MDMK in December 2012 and was appointed the party’s deputy propaganda secretary that very day by Jayalalithaa then. “Where were they then. Did these rules expire then?” he asked. He said Dhinakaran himself will announce the future course of action following today’s developments.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Palaniswami camp questions Sasikala-Dhinakaran authority

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a jolt to Sasikala, a meeting presided over by Chief Minister K Palaniswami today said the appointment of Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary was against party rules as he openly questioned their authority. This is the first time that the chief minister has made a categorical assertion about the status of Dhinakaran’s appointment by his aunt Sasikala on February 14 just ahead of her incarceration. Formally expelling both Sasikala and Dhinakaran was among the pre-conditions the Panneerselvam camp, which is also holding consultations on the possibility of merger, had made. The move in both camps is being perceived as coming one step closer to a merger of the two camps by easing out Sasikala and Dhinakaran. Noting that Dhinakaran’s appointment was also under the scrutiny of the Election Commission, the AIADMK (Amma) led by Palaniswami wondered how Dhinakaran could make new appointments at such a juncture. On August 4 Dhinakaran had made several appointments including that of his loyalists to various party posts. Citing it, a communique to the party cadres, said the meeting also asserted that such appointments being done by him “will not bind any AIADMK cadre to create unnecessary confusion in our party and such appointments are not valid under party law. Cadres are requested to reject them.” Significantly, the meeting said “Though Sasikala’s appointment as general secretary was till such time the formal election of a new general secretary as per party laws, she could not function in view of extraordinary circumstances,” an apparent reference to her getting jailed in the disproportionate assets case in February last. Also, Sasikala’s appointment was challenged and it is pending in the EC, the meeting noted. Under such circumstances, the party was being run by top functionaries appointed by Amma (a reference to the camp led by Palaniswami), it said. Top functionaries and senior state cabinet ministers led by Palaniswami attended the meeting.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Five new storage facilities for farmers, small traders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: Five new storage facilities for the benefit of farmers and small traders, built at a cost of Rs 24.1 crore in Dharmapuri and Thanjavur districts, were inaugurated by Chief Minister K Palaniswami. Three storage facilities with a capacity of 5,000 metric tonnes each at Nallampalli village in Dharmapuri district and two of 7,000 metric tonne each capacity at Nanjikottai village in Thanjavur district, were inaugurated by Palaniswami through video conferencing yesterday at a function at the secretariat. The facilities were set up by the Tamil Nadu Warehousing Corporation. The unveiling of new storage facilities comes in the backdrop of the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s announcement in the Assembly that such facilities would be set up by the Corporation, an official release said. The Chief Minister also unvield the Coimbatore Co-operative Bank’s branch building in that city, constructed at a cost of Rs 61 lakh. Minister for Co-operation ‘Sellur’ K Raju, Higher Education Minister K P Anbalagan, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies R Kamaraj were among those who were present on the occasion, it added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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