Panneerselvam says AIADMK merger talks have moved forward, two factions to meet on Monday

Rajapalayam/Chennai: Rebel AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam on Sunday said the talks on merger of factions led by him and Chief Minister K Palaniswamy have moved a step forward and a "good" decision would be reached shortly.

Party sources indicated that there may be a meeting at the party headquarters on Monday where decisions could be made by the Palaniswamy camp on the question of the "formal expulsion" of VK Sasikala.

"Also, tomorrow being considered auspicious in the wake of it being 'Amavasya,' there is a chance of the merger deal getting sealed," the sources said.

"I had informed that the merger talks are already progressing smoothly. It has progressed one more step...A good decision will be attained shortly as desired by you," he told reporters after a meeting with his party functionaries.

File image of O Panneerselvam. PTI

File image of O Panneerselvam. PTI

Panneerselvam earlier participated in gatherings held by party functionaries in Tirunelveli and nearby regions.

Speaking to reporters on his arrival at Chennai, he said, "Our lofty goal in effecting the merger will be to see that the party does not get entangled in the clutches of a family," apparently targeting party chief VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran.

The rebel leader further said that "our goal will succeed" and that "this party will be of the cadres, and it will be safeguarded."

Meanwhile, party deputy general secretary Dinakaran held discussions with his supporters in Chennai in the backdrop of expectations that the merger may fructify on Monday.

Emerging from the meeting, Dinakaran's confidant Nanjil Sampath hit out at Panneerselvam for enacting a "drama" of talks with the Palaniswamy camp.

"Whatever decision they (camps led by Palaniswamy and Panneerselvam) take, Dinakaran has the ability to put a full stop to it and we will prove it in the coming days," he said.

On Saturday, Panneerselvam had said that talks on the merger were going on smoothly and a positive result was expected in a "day or two".

Palaniswamy too had said he was confident that "both the factions would merge soon".

In Erode, AIADMK Amma faction veteran and Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan told reporters, "It will be a good decision and will happen to the liking of cadres and people."

The merger talks gained momentum after Palaniswamy on 17 August announced that a inquiry commission would be set up to probe the death of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her Poes Garden residence would be converted into a memorial, two of the key demands put forth by the Panneerselvam camp.

Though the merger was expected to materialise on Friday night, it did not come through amid reported divergent views among members of the Panneerselvam faction.

However, Panneerselvam cleared the air on Saturday, saying a positive result was expected in a day or two.

Panneerselvam, a former Chief Minister, had revolted against the leadership of jailed party chief VK Sasikala in February last, causing a split in the party.

Updated Date: Aug 21, 2017 14:18 PM

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