However after the passing away of Jayalalithaa in December 2016, an intense power struggle commenced in the AIADMK with the former aide of Jayalalithaa, VK Sasikala and her family trying to take over the party. Sasikala was announced as the interim general secretary of the party and was on her way to assume the Chief Minister’s post.
A revolt broke out in the party with O. Panneerselvam, who is a fellow Thevar, opposing her move and sitting on a dharna near Jayalalithaa’s memorial. Then, in a money laundering and disproportionate assets case, Sasikala was sentenced to four years in prison and the AIADMK got divided into two factions, one led by O. Panneerselvam and the other by Edappadi K. Palaniswami.
Political moves at the highest level by the BJP bridged the differences between the two AIADMK leaders and Palaniswami became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
Later with the AIADMK out of power and the party having a joint leadership of O. Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, the rift has widened between the two leaders.