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AIADMK merger by Monday hints OPS

By Vicky
|

The AIADMK merger is likely to take place on Monday, former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam indicated.

O Panneerselvam and E Palaniswamy

He was speaking after leaders of the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction led by him met here 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 here 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 told reporters.

Meanwhile, chief minister K Palaniswami has left for Tiruvarur in Thanjavur district to take part in the MGR centenary function.

The much expected merger last 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 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 Palaniswami-led AIADMK (Amma) faction and the OPS group.

Meanwhile, sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dinakaran held deliberations with supporters at his residence here.

Dinakaran, who spoke to reporters yesterday after meeting his aunt and party general secretary VK 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.

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 here.

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 Palaniswami and Panneerselvam to offer their respects at the burial site.

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