AIADMK Merger Delayed, Differences Within Factions Prevail

O Panneerselvam and E Palanisamy

Dinakaran said the proposed merger of other two factions of the AIADMK - one led by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and the other led by Palaniswami - was being done by people to safeguard their positions.

After the much-anticipated merger was delayed as the two factions of AIADMK, who gathered at the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J jayalalithaa's memorial at Marina Beach on Friday, left without making any statement.

Dhinakaran, who spoke to reporters yesterday after meeting his aunt and party general secretary V K Sasikala at a Bengaluru jail on her birthday yesterday, 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.

The merger deal will also involve the removal of Sasikala from the party, but only after a month, followed by necessary procedures including a general body of the AIADMK to be held post-unification.

AIADMK party sources dismissed reports of an immediate merger between the two factions of the party late Friday, stating that a few "ticklish" issues had to be sorted out first. Besides this, the OPS faction will also get more posts district secretary posts and top posts in the state boards, a senior leader in the OPS camp told the Indian Express. But the late chief minister's memorial wore a deserted look at the end of the day as the OPS and EPS camps failed to arrive at a consensus. "Now I should save the party and the government", he said, after his release from jail.

The fast-paced developments were happening ahead of BJP president Amit Shah's visit to Tamil Nadu.

"The talks on merger are going on smoothly and in one or two days a concrete decision will be known". It soon became apparent that there were hurdles to the merger talks, with leaders of both factions starting to leave the venue. However, we still have MLAs who support us in both the factions.



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