Tamil Nadu has undergone huge political upheavals since the death of former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, also known as Amma. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) got split into two factions and were led by her loyalists Sasikala Natarajan and the other by former chief minister O. Panneerselvam.
Let’s have a look at the timeline of political events:
1. Merger between Sasikala and OPS camps
In an unprecedented turn of events in Tamil Nadu politics, the warring factions of of Sasikala and O. Panneerselvam of the AIADMK met on April 17 to discuss and deliberate over possibilities of their unification.This has led to hints of a merger between the groups and the re-united party will then stake a claim for the AIADMK symbol - two leaves.Panneerselvam said on Tuesday that the Sasikala faction of the party has formed a committee to conduct talks for a merger.
2. RK Nagar By-polls cancelled
The Election Commission cancelled the By-polls in Chennai's RK Nagar constituency last week after cash-for-votes allegations surfaced. The decision was taken after income tax raids in Chennai revealed that money had been distributed to voters ahead of the polls.Income tax officials accused the Sasikala faction of the party of paying Rs. 89 crore to voters to buy support for its candidate TTV Dinakaran, who is also her nephew.
The Income Tax department had cited documents seized during raids in more than 35 places as evidence, which also included properties of the state health minister C Vijayabaskar.
However, the allegations were refuted by the Sasikala faction.
3. AIADMK’S election symbol freezed by Election Commission
The election commission froze the AIADMK’s election symbol of 'two leaves' after separate claims were made regarding it by representatives of O. Panneerselvam and V.K. Sasikala.
4. Sasikala and Panneerselvam camps lock horns before R.K. Nagar by-poll
Sasikala and Panneerselvam camps entered into a tussle over the AIADMK election symbol 'two leaves' ahead of the R.K. Nagar assembly by-polls which were to be held in Chennai on April 12.
5. Palanisamy wins Floor Test
Amidst mayhem in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Edappadi K. Palanisamy won the vote of confidence on February 18 with the support of 122 MLAs.
6. Palanisamy takes oath as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
In yet another major political development, Edappadi K. Palanisamy took oath as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister along with 31 other AIADMK MLAs on February 16. Further, the AIADMK said that Palanisamy will seek the vote of confidence on February 18.
7. Sasikala surrenders before Bengaluru jail
8. Dhinakaran becomes deputy General Secretary of AIADMK
On February 15, TTV Dhinakaran was appointed as the Deputy General Secretary of the AIADMK on February 15.
9. Palaniswami appointed as head of AIADMK legislature party
Edappadi K Palaniswami was appointed head of the AIADMK legislature party after Sasikala was sentenced to four years in jail in connection with the disproportionate assets case. Soon after the decision was taken, O. Panneerselvam was expelled from AIADMK.
10. Sasikala given four years of imprisonment in disproportionate assets case
On February 14, Sasikala was convicted and sentenced to serve four years in jail in a 19-year-old disproportionate assets case. Moreover, she was disqualified to take over as Tamil Nadu CM.
11. Panneerselvam and Sasikala fight for Tamil Nadu CM post
O. Panneerselvam resigned from the post of Tamil Nadu CM and Sasikala was elected head of the AIADMK legislative party and proceeded to stake claim to form the government. Panneerselvam's resignation was accepted by state Governor C Vidyasagar Rao However, Panneerselvam made startling revelations and told reporters that he 'was forced to resign'.
12. Sasikala Natarajan appointed General Secretary
Jayalalithaa’s confidante and loyalist Sasikala Natarajan was appointed as AIADMK's general secretary on December 29 after several party functionaries asked her to lead the party.
13. Panneerselvam becomes Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
After the demise of J Jayalalithaa, senior AIADMK leader and Jaya loyalist O. Paneerselvam was sworned in as the next chief minister of Tamil Nadu. As far as reports are concerned, several AIADMK MLAs were called to Apollo Hospital to sign a declaration, thus making Panneerselvam Jayalalithaa's successor.
14. Jayalalithaa’s death
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa, fondly known as "Amma" by her the people of the state and her party cadres, dies of cardiac arrest on December 5, 2016 at the Apollo Hospital after a prolonged illness.