Home / Politics / Policy /  AIADMK merger: A timeline of revolts

Chennai: Since the demise of former AIADMK supremo and chief minister J. Jayalalithaa in December last year, Tamil Nadu’s political scenario has witnessed unprecedented drama. The state has seen it all—revolt, conviction in a graft case of Jayalalithaa’s aide and her successor to the party post V. K. Sasikala, split in the party, cancellation of bypoll to R.K. Nagar seat held by the late CM, sidelining of party deputy chief T.T. V. Dhinakaran and the eventual merger today.

Following is the chronology of major events in Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK since Jayalalithaa’s demise:

5 December 2016: 68-year-old Jayalalithaa dies following a cardiac arrest after being in hospital for about 75 days. O. Panneerselvam, popularly known as OPS, who was finance minister in the Jayalalithaa cabinet, is swiftly sworn in as chief minister.

■ 29 December: Sasikala is appointed the general secretary of AIADMK after the party’s general council unanimously passes a resolution.

5 February 2017: OPS resigns as chief minister, paving way for Sasikala’s elevation. Sasikala elected as the head of the AIADMK legislature party, plans to stake claim to form government. Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao accepts OPS’ resignation, but asks him to continue until a new chief minister is appointed.

■ 7 February: OPS meditates at Jayalalithaa’s burial place, announces revolt against Sasikala.

■ 10 February: More than 120 AIADMK MLAs taken to a resort near here apparently to prevent any defections to the OPS’ camp.

14 February: The Supreme Court convicts Sasikala setting aside the Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting her in a 19-year-old disproportionate assets. K. Palaniswami appointed head of the AIADMK legislature party; OPS and 19 other senior senior leaders expelled from primary membership of AIADMK.

16 February: Palaniswami sworn in Chief Minister.

■ 17 February: OPS camp announces expulsion of Sasikala and her two relatives T T V Dinakaran and S Venkatesh from the party.

18 February: Palaniswami wins confidence vote by 122 to 11 votes amid high drama in the assembly.

8 March: In its first public protest, OPS-led AIADMK faction observes a day-long fast across the state demanding probe into the death of Jayalalithaa.

15 March: AIADMK nominates T.T.V Dhinakaran as party’s candidate for the R.K. Nagar bypoll scheduled for 12 April.

22 March: The Election Commission issues an interim order freezing the ‘two leaves’ election symbol of AIADMK; says the two rival camps cannot use the party symbol as well as its name for the bypoll.

23 March: The Election Commission allots Palaniswami camp “hat" as its symbol. The faction was named AIADMK (Amma). The O Panneerselvam camp was allotted ‘electric pole’ as its symbol and named as AIADMK (Puratchithalaivi Amma).

9 April: The EC cancels the bypoll over the alleged use of money power to influence voters.

17 April: The crime branch of the Delhi Police books Dhinakaran for allegedly trying to bribe an EC official to get the ‘two leaves’ poll symbol.

18 April: The ruling AIADMK (Amma) faction announces team to hold talks with Panneerselvam camp on possible patch up. Palaniswami cabinet revolts against Dhinakaran and decides to keep him and his family out of the party and government.

19 April: The Delhi Police serves summons to Dhinakaran in the EC bribery case.

20 April: Merger moves hit stumbling block with the Panneerselvam camp putting conditions, including a formal expulsion of Sasikala and Dhinakaran from the party, besides a CBI probe into Jayalalithaa’s death.

25 April: The Delhi police arrests Dhinakaran in the bribery case.

26 April: Banners featuring Sasikala removed from the AIADMK party headquarters appear here, a demand made by the Panneerselvam camp to “uphold the sanctity" of the party office.

2 May: The Enforcement Directorate registers a money laundering case against Dhinakaran and others in connection with the Election Commission bribery case.

6 May: AIADMK (Amma) describes as “opportunism" Panneerselvam camp’s demand for a CBI probe into Jayalalithaa’s death as a pre-condition for merger talks.

19 May: The Panneerselvam camp approaches the Election Commission in Delhi urging it to restrain the Sasikala faction from using the AIADMK office.

5 June: Dhinakaran meets Sasikala at the Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengalaru.

11 June: Panneerselvam dissolves seven-member panel formed to hold merger talks with AIADMK (Amma) faction.

10 August: Prospects of merger brighten as the Amma faction says Dhinakaran’s appointment as Deputy General Secretary was against party rules.

17 August: Palaniswami announces a Commission of Inquiry to go into the death of J Jayalalithaa, says her Poes Garden residence in Chennai will be turned into a memorial run by the government.

18 August: Dhinakaran meets Sasikala at Parapana Agrahara Prison in Bengaluru on her birthday. AIADMK’s rival factions’ marathon deliberations begin but make no headway with ticklish issues posing hurdles.

19 August: Palaniswami and Panneerselvam express confidence merger will happen soon.

21 August: The two factions merge.

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