AIADMK merger talks hit roadblock as OPS, EPS trade charges over Sasikala, Dinakaran

Chennai: In a setback to merger talks between the AIADMK rival factions, Chief Minister E Palaniswamy and rebel leader O Panneerselvam blamed each other on Monday for the merger talks continuing to be a non-starter.

Rebel leader O Panneerselvam asked how his camp could trust the Palaniswamy-led Amma group since it had furnished affidavits to the Election Commission affirming VK Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran as party general secretary and deputy general secretary respectively.

Palaniswamy, without naming Panneerselvam's group, said "some" were "posing obstacles," though his camp was ready for "unconditional talks." He said conditions were being imposed by the rival camp wantonly.

O Panneerselvam. PTI

O Panneerselvam. PTI

Citing the symbol row in the EC and a court case, he asked how could parleys be conducted with strings attached under such circumstances.

The chief minister, at a public meeting in Chennai, asserted that only through dialogue a solution could be found to the issue. He said Amma group felt that both the government and party should function well.

Former chief minister O Panneerselvam had said that the Palaniswamy camp had already given affidavits to the EC stating Sasikala and Dinakaran as party general and deputy general secretaries, affirming their roles as the party chief and deputy chief.

Now, a new addition was the inclusion of the name of Palaniswamy as well in the papers submitted to the EC, he noted.

Referring to the names of Sasikala and Dinakaran figuring in the papers submitted to the EC, he asked "how we can believe them."

Panneerselvam group had been opposing Sasikala and Dinakaran from the beginning and had demanded their formal ouster from the party as a pre-condition for talks.

Palaniswamy group had announced days ago that both Sasikala and Dinakaran will be "kept out" of both the party and the government.

Last week, Amma camp functionaries including district secretaries held deliberations in the party headquarters here during which papers that were to be submitted to the EC also came up.

Senior leader R Vaithialingam had said that Palaniswamy who also happens to be the party headquarters secretary was included in the party papers to be given to EC and no "corrections" were made.

The papers were part of the documents that were submitted in connection with the two-leaves symbol row.

At that time, Panneerselvam camp had claimed that signatures were being taken from functionaries in papers that still had the names of Sasikala and Dinakaran even after announcing that they were being eased out.

Meanwhile, sources said Panneerselvam will embark on a state-wide tour on 5 May from Kanchipuram to meet party workers and the public.

Updated Date: May 02, 2017 08:37 AM

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