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Talks on, positive result in a day or two: OPS on AIADMK merger

Talks on, positive result in a day or two: OPS on AIADMK merger

Chennai: Talks on the merger of the two All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) factions are going on smoothly and a positive result is expected in a day or two, former chief minister O Panneerselvam said on Saturday.

He was speaking after leaders of the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction led by him met in Chennai for informal discussions on the merger issue following last night’s inconclusive patch-up bid, and to chart out their future course of action.

Panneerselvam, who is scheduled to leave for Madurai on Sunday to attend a meeting there, was expected to elicit the opinion of the faction leaders in Chennai to arrive at any firm view on the merger issue.

The talks are going on smoothly. A positive result is expected in a day or two, he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Palanisamy has left for Tiruvarur in Thanjavur district to take part in the MGR centenary function.

The much expected merger on Friday night had failed to come off following reported divergent views among the members of the OPS faction.

This included the demand of certain members for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death as against the announcement of an inquiry commission to be headed by a retired High Court judge.

There were also reports of hard bargaining on party and cabinet posts by Palanisamy-led AIADMK (Amma) faction and the OPS group.

Meanwhile, sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran held deliberations with supporters at his residence in Chennai.

Dhinakaran, who spoke to reporters on Friday after meeting his aunt and party general secretary VK Sasikala at a Bengaluru jail on her birthday on Friday, had downplayed the expected merger of the AIADMK factions saying it would not have any longevity and that it was not a ‘setback’ to him.

Amid speculation of an imminent merger of the two factions, several AIADMK MLAs of both the groups had congregated at the mausoleum of Jayalalithaa at the Marina beach in Chennai.

Police personnel were deployed in a large number at the memorial with members of the public who wanted to offer their respects to Jayalalithaa fondly called as “Amma” (Mother) being prevented from entering the burial site.

Two special wreaths were also kept ready apparently to enable Palanisamy and Panneerselvam to offer their respects at the burial site.

After it became clear that the merger talks would be deferred, the wreaths were removed and public was allowed to enter the burial site later.

PTI