Chennai: In a boost to the merger move, AIADMK faction led by O Panneerselvam on Thursday welcomed a probe into the death of late chief minister Jayalalithaa, saying transparent talks could be held for the party's unification.
Victory for #OPS dharmayudh ! Annan meets key office-bearers (State & Dist), MP's, MLA's (past/present)to chart our future at 5 pm on 18/8 !
— Pandiarajan K (@mafoikprajan) August 17, 2017
However, another senior leader of the camp appeared guarded in his reaction, saying they had demanded a CBI inquiry into Jayalalithaa's death. It was, however, the chief minister's view to have a Commission of Inquiry instead, former minister KP Munusamy said. Asked if the prospects for merger have now brightened, he said, "as far as merger goes, it can happen only if (party chief) VK Sasikala and her family are fully ousted (expelled) from the party". Pandiarajan said he was delighted to welcome the announcement made by Chief Minister E Palaniswamy on the probe and that it was time to negotiate in a transparent manner for merger of the factions.
As preconditions for merger talks, the Panneerselvam camp has demanded a probe into the death of Jayalalithaa, conversion of her Poes Garden residence into a memorial and removal of jailed Sasikala and her family members from the AIADMK.
Despite enthusiasm shown by both the factions, Deepa Jayakumar, the niece of Jayalalithaa, has opposed the Tamil Nadu government's plans to convert her aunt's residence in Chennai into a memorial, saying she would take legal steps against it.
Deepa said she has the "moral and legal rights" to stake claim to the Poes Garden property and termed the announcement by the chief minister a "drama" while alleging that there was some motive behind it.
"We were not consulted on converting it (the residence) into a memorial. We will take legal action against it (the government plans)," Deepa told reporters on Thursday.
She had taken the political plunge months after her aunt's demise and had launched the MGR Amma Deepa Peravai on 24 February, the birth anniversary of Jayalalithaa.
Deepa had filed her nomination for the 12 April by-election to RK Nagar Assembly seat, which was previously held by Jayalalithaa. The bypoll was later rescinded by the Election Commission following alleged use of money power.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Aug 18, 2017 11:36:52 IST