POLITICS

Panneerselvam-Led Faction Talks Tough, Says No Merger Till Sasikala, Dinakaran Resign From AIADMK

Two demands.

20/04/2017 9:42 PM IST | Updated 20/04/2017 9:43 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam.

CHENNAI -- The O Panneerselvam-led group on Thursday categorically stated that the merger between the two factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) would not be possible until an affidavit stating the removal of VK Sasikala and his nephew TTV Dinakaran from the party is submitted to the Election Commission.

"We demand that an affidavit be submitted by the other camp stating that Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran no longer hold party position to the Election Commission. If this is done, we will consider it as first victory to our faction," former state minister and AIADMK member KP Munusamy told the media here.

Munusamy further stated that they have asked the Edapadi K Palanisamy-led government to initiate a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry to probe the mysterious death of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

"If they accept these demands only then there will be talks about the merger," he added.

Casting aside speculations that Panneerselvam has asked for the chief ministerial post as a precondition for the merger, Munusamy said "Neither had we asked for Chief Minister's post nor we asked for the general secretary's post. We only demanded a CBI investigation into Jayalalithaa's death."

The OPS camp further alleged that Palanisamy is devising new ways to prevent the merger from taking place.

"Current Chief Minister Palanisamy, who was appointed at the mercy of Sasikala, is not acting as the AIADMK Chief Minister rather he is acting as the Chief Minister of Sasikala and her family," he said.

Responding to a poser on Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar's assertion that Sasikala and family have been de-linked form the party, Munusamy said, "Jayakumar only said that Dinakaran has been ousted from the party, he never took the name of Sasikala."

The latest development in Tamil Nadu's politics comes as AIADMK MP and deputy speaker M Thambidurai and Jayakumar met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao separately.

However, the former described his visit as personal while the latter termed it official.

"There is no political significance in the meeting. We did not speak politics at all. He is my friend, I have known him for years," Thambidurai said.

"He is the Chancellor of the Fisheries University and by the virtue of being a fisheries minister I am the Pro-Chancellor. I discussed with him the appointment of a V-C for the university," he said.

The talks for a merger gained ground after an FIR was registered against Dinakaran for bribing the Election Commission officials for staking claim of the 'Two Leaves' party symbol.

Following this, Sukesh Chandrasekhar, Dhinakaran's alleged middleman, was arrested by police for striking a deal of ₹50 crore to help the AIADMK faction keep the 'two leaves' poll symbol.

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