The two factions of the AIADMK have finally realised that they can remain strong only if they work together as the ‘two leaves’ of the party. 

While both current CM of Tamil Nadu E Palanisamy and rebel leader O Paneerselvam stand to gain, it definitely is a huge blow to the now common ‘enemy’ - TTV Dhinakaran. 

Analysts say that even some of the national leaders want to do away with the Sasikala family. And this merger is seen as a move to clip the wings of deputy general secretary, who was all set to embark on a state wide tour allegedly to strengthen the party. 

Dhinakaran perhaps did not realise that it was he who strengthened the ties between OPS and EPS. This entire game of thrones was in play for days and there have been numerous closed door meetings between the leaders of the AIADMK factions, sources reveal. 

The AIADMK leaders have worked out their complete strategy that ensures both leaders stay relevant. While  the CM’s post will remain with EPS,  measures are being taken to ensure O Paneerselvam gets the most vied post of the party - General Secretary. He will also be the deputy CM and he will remain so, until the next elections. 

Sources close to the AIADMK top leadership have revealed that two major lieutenants of OPS - Mafoi Pandiarajan and Semmalai - will be given ministerial berths. 

A committee that has a fair representation of both the factions will run the day-to-day affairs of the party, under the leadership of Paneerselvam. 

What will Paneerselvam and Palanisamy personally gain out of this? Though OPS rose to overnight stardom, once he turned rebel in February taking Sasikala head on in the AIADMK battle, his popularity didn’t last long. This handshake will stabilise his position and power as a politician in the party. EPS, meanwhile, knows that the longevity of the government lies in this merger. And he clearly does not want to be a ‘dummy’ CM, in the presence of Dhinakaran, paving the way to lead from the front.

While there is no clarity on Sasikala, the final merger announcement is still hanging in suspense. But a lot is expected post-Venkaiah Nadu’s swearing-in ceremony as the Vice President. As both EPS and OPS are expected to meet PM Modi together and reach a final agreement, including one on the fate of Sasikala.