TN CM Palaniswami Meets PM Amid Growing Speculation on AIADMK Merger

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid growing speculation over the merger of the two factions of the AIADMK in the state.

Palaniswami, however, told reporters in New Delhi that he only discussed with Modi the state’s demand that it be exempted from the purview of the all-India medical college entrance test, NEET.

The CM, along with Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, met the PM at his office in Parliament House. Stalled negotiations on the merger of two AIADMK factions picked up again on Friday after a meeting presided over by Palaniswami questioned the appointment of TTV Dinakaran as AIADMK’s deputy general secretary.

A resolution passed in the meeting said Dinakaran’s elevation to the post, hours before his aunt Sasikala Natarajan was taken to a jail in Bengaluru, was against party bylaws, a condition which former chief minister O Panneerselvam’s faction of the party had pushed for a merger.

Panneerselvam, the head of the rival faction, is also in Delhi. Both he and the CM attended Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s oath-taking ceremony this morning.

Panneerselvam is also trying for an appointment with PM Modi, sources here said. Members of his faction will also meet officials of the Election Commission.

 The sources said the Panneerselvam faction will present a copy of yesterday’s resolution to the EC.