From Dinakaran FIR to ouster, key developments so far

Unity efforts in the AIADMK hit a roadblock on Tuesday after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam sought the exit of the now jailed V.K. Sasikala and her family, and Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said this was unacceptable.

But the Panneerselvam faction has hardened its stance in spite of the announcement by Finance Minister D Jayakumar that Sasikala, Dinakaran and other members of the Mannargudi clan would not have any role in running the AIADMK. "To put it directly, it is the desire of people and party workers that TTV Dhinakaran and his family should be sidelined", Jayakumar said.

"There was a consensus to delink the government and the party from TTV Dhinakaran and the family he belongs to".

Earlier, Dhinakaran said none in the party were against him, asserting that all party MLAs stood behind him.

The Deputy General Secretary and nephew of Sasikala said the MLAs' meeting called by him later today should not be seen as a show of strength.

He said this was the unanimous view of not only ministers, MLAs and MPs but also the party rank and file. "Our demand for a probe into the hospitalisation and demise of Jayalalithaa has to be met by the Government", Panneerselvam told reporters at his residence in Chennai. "I do not know why they took such a decision".

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Dinakaran refused to step down as party deputy general secretary arguing that he had to first consult his aunt Sasikala, party general secretary, who is serving a sentence in a Bengaluru jail. Dinakaran is the party's Deputy General Secretary. Sasikala was a close aide of Jayalalithaa, whose death in December forced a by-election in the R.K. Nagar assembly constituency.

Dhinakaran was allegedly told by Sukesh Chander, the mediator, that the AIADMK party symbol - which was frozen by the Election Commission last month ahead of the RK Nagar bypoll - would go to the Dinakaran-Sasikala camp if he was paid Rs 50 crore. An expulsion will be possible only after the Commission comes to a decision, sources said.

The poll body then postponed the poll.

The Delhi Police on Monday booked AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dhinakaran for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official in a failed bid to obtain the coveted "two-leaves" party symbol for his faction.

O Panneerselvam later said this - the ouster of Sasikala and Dinakaran - was his faction's first victory.

"124 MLAs voted for Palaniswami, therefore, there is no question of CM change", AIADMK leader M. Thambidurai responded to a poser on making Panneerselvam the Chief Minister after merger. She had been set to replace him as chief minister till she was convicted in February.

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