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Probe ordered into Jayalalithaa’s death, EPS and OPS factions of AIADMK move closer




[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Tamil Nadu chief minister Edapaddi Palanisami accepts rival O Panneerselvam camp’s demand, commission headed by a retired judge will investigate the death former AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, her Poes Garden residence – Veda Nilayam – will be converted into a museum dedicated to ‘Amma’

In clear signs of a realignment within the faction-ridden AIADMK, Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palanisami, on Thursday, accepted a key demand of his rival camp led by his predecessor – O Panneerselvam – and announced that an enquiry commission will be formed to probe into the circumstances and cause of J Jayalalithaa’s death last year.

The enquiry commission will be constituted under a retired High Court judg, Palanisami said, adding that the order was being given as per the demand of Tamil Nadu’s people. The chief minister also said that Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence in Chennai – Veda Nilayam – will be converted into a museum that would showcase the immensely popular leader’s life and career.

Sasikalaa and Jayalalithaa

EPS, as Palanisami is referred to in political circles, and his loyalists within the AIADMK have been working out a blueprint to bury differences with the camp led by Panneerselvam, known as OPS, and either sideline or win over those within the AIADMK who still owe their allegiance to jailed party chief and Jayalalithaa’s confidante, VK Sasikala .

An enquiry into Jayalalithaa’s death had been one of the key demands of the OPS faction for a truce with EPS. Jayalalithaa, referred to across party lines as Amma – had died on December 5 last year at Apollo hospital in Chennai after a prolonged illness and ever since, there have been speculations about foul play in the death with fingers often being pointed at Sasikala.

In the days prior to Amma’s death, the party had elected Panneerselvam to act as chief minister and he was sworn-in to the office immediately after Jayalalithaa was pronounced dead. However, in the days following her demise, while Sasikala was still contemplating her political moves, Panneerselvam announced that he had “heard the voice of his conscience and of Amma” and will stay on as chief minister. Sasikala’s faction of the party had come out in open rebellion against OPS, calling him a traitor, and imploring Sasikala to take over as chief minister.

However, the Supreme Court convicted Sasikala for four years in a disproportionate assets case, effectively nixing any chance of her taking on the executive role after which EPS was sworn-in as chief minister. The party has ever since been divided into three factions, those led by Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran, OPS and EPS.


Palanisami’s announcement of the probe into Amma’s death comes days after Dhinakaran held a ‘show of strength rally’ in Madurai in which 20 AIADMK and independent legislators had participated. EPS had removed Dhinakaran from the post of AIADMK deputy general secretary earlier this month.

There is still no word on another pre-condition that the OPS-led Puratchi Thalaivi Amma faction had put forth before Palanisami for a truce and merger of the two rival camps – that Sasikala and her family members – known within the AIADMK circles as the Mannargudi Mafia – be expelled from the party. However, if the two factions indeed move towards a merger, sources say, Sasikala’s ouster from the AIADMK chief’s post would be certain.

The merger between these rival AIADMK factions is crucial for the party to get back its election symbol – two leaves – which the Election Commission had suspended after the split. Also, since Amma’s demise, the party has been floundering in search of one leader behind which the cadre can stand firmly. This has left the political space in Tamil Nadu wide open for the party’s principal political rival – M Karunanidhi’s DMK. Perhaps more importantly, the factional feuds is also giving a golden opportunity to the BJP to either gain its own space in Tamil Nadu politics or work towards an alliance with whichever faction of the AIADMK gives it more tactical strength.

Sources say that the EPS and OPS factions are aggressively working towards a unification plan – a key aspect of which could be that Palanisami continues as the chief minister while Panneerselvam gets to be the AIADMK general secretary after sacking Sasikala.

Sasikala’s election as AIADMK general secretary is itself pending before the Election Commission. If the poll panel rules against her, OPS could be made the party chief without having to sack Amma’s closest aide of decades. He may also be offered the deputy chief minister’s post.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

ED raids Punjab Congress leaders Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Sangat Singh Giljian in forest scam linked money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate asserted that during the search operations, various incriminating documents, mobile phones/digital devices have been seized



The Enforcement Directorate recently conducted raids against two former Punjab forest ministers and Congress leaders Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Sangat Singh Giljian and others in relation to an alleged forest-scam linked money laundering investigation.  

Issuing a statement on Friday, the Enforcement Directorate said that its investigation pertains to charges of bribery in the state forest department against the issuance of a permit for tree felling and for transfer and posting in the department, among some other allegations. 

The ED raids were carried out on November 30 in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi at the residential premises of Dharamsot, Giljian, their associates, forest officers and some private individuals. The agency reportedly searched fourteen locations under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Congress leader Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, has been a five-time MLA and he was arrested earlier this year by the Punjab Vigilance bureau as part of a case linked to alleged possession of disproportionate assets. In his three-year tenure as forest minister, Dharamsot collected ₹1 crore in lieu of issuance of permits for cutting khair trees through his OSD. Sangat Singh Giljian has been an MLA from the Urmar seat in Hoshiarpur district.

The Enforcement Directorate said that the money laundering case was filed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and stems from an FIR of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau.

The nodal agency mentioned that the first information report pertains to alleged irregularities in the forest department and allegations of taking bribes by the concerned ministers and officers of the department against the issuance of permits for felling of Khair trees, transfer/posting in the department, issuance of NOC from the department and purchase of tree guards.

In addition, the Enforcement Directorate asserted that during the search operations, various incriminating documents, mobile phones/digital devices have been seized which, prima facie, reveal suspicious transactions involving persons who are under investigation. 

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India News

Jharkhand government puts hospitals on alert amid respiratory infection outbreak in China

The district administration are also asked to assess the availability of oxygen and the supply chain for refilling along with other necessary equipment.



Amid a respiratory infection outbreak in China, the Jharkhand government has put its hospitals on alert, directing them for surveillance, preventive measures and testing of respiratory illness. The additional chief secretary of health Arun Kumar Singh directed the district administrations to remain prepared and keep a continuous vigil on the situation.  

In a letter to the district magistrate, Arun Kumar Singh stated that in view of the recently reported surge in respiratory illness, particularly in children in Northern China, in the recent weeks, there is an urgent need to keep a constant vigil, monitor trends of cases and quickly respond to any emerging public health. He added that considering the ongoing influenza, there might be an increase in respiratory illness cases.

He mentioned that this is predominantly attributed to usual causes like Influenza strain (H1N1/H3N2/H5N1/H9N2 etc.), mycoplasma pneumonia, SARS-CoV-2, etc. He further remarked that in order to reduce the incidence of respiratory diseases along with the current scenario of unusual causes of respiratory diseases in children or any unexpected clinical manifestations, there is a need to increase the surveillance and remain vigilant and to monitor the continuously changing nature of the virus, including respiratory pathogen (H1N1, H3N2 etc) and evolution of SARS CoV-2 variants.

The additional chief secretary of health further directed the officials to strengthen the flu and respiratory clinics in the medical colleges, district hospitals, and health centres. He asserted that the departments of microbiology at RIMS-Ranchi and Mahatma Gandhi Medical College in Jamshedpur have been made sentinel sites for sending the suspected samples.    

Reportedly, the district administrations have also been asked to ascertain that the health facilities, including private hospitals, report all suspected cases. In addition, they were also asked to assess the availability of oxygen and the supply chain for refilling along with other necessary equipment. The district administrations were also asked to ensure mock drills for emergency circumstances, as per the officials.

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India News

Tensions rise at Sagar Dam as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana clash over drinking water

On Thursday when Telangana officials were busy with elections, about 700 Andhra Pradesh Policemen stormed into the project and opened the right canal to release 500 cusecs of Krishna water per hour.



As Telangana was getting ready for election, Andhra Pradesh took control of Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and began releasing water, leading tensions to rise between the two states. On Thursday when Telangana officials were busy with elections, about 700 Andhra Pradesh Policemen stormed into the project and opened the right canal to release 500 cusecs of Krishna water per hour.

Andhra Pradesh state irrigation minister Ambati Rambabu took to X(formerly Twitter) and wrote they are releasing water from Nagarjunasagar right canal on Krishna river for the drinking water purposes. But the minister made a clarification that they had only taken water that they have only taken water that belongs to the state and it is in accordance to the treaty between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Talking to the media Rambabu said they had not flouted any treaty. He said 66% of Krishna water belongs to Andhra Pradesh and 34% to Telangana. He said they had not used a single drop of water that did not belong to them. He said they had tried to open their canal in their territory. He further added this water was rightfully theirs.

As tensions started rising, the central government has stepped in and urged both states to revert to the release of Nagarjuna Sagar waters as of November 28. The proposal was made by the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla during a video conference with Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Both the states have agreed to the plan.

In order to ensure no further conflict takes place, the dam will be under the supervision of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) which will also oversee that both the states are getting water as per the deal. Telangana Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari had alleged that 500 armed Andhra Pradesh policemen came to Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and released about cusecs of water by opening the head regulators located at gate number 5 and 7. They even damaged the CCTV cameras.

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