AIADMK merger: OPS-EPS fail to scale Sasikala hurdle
The AIADMK merger hit a last minute roadblock on Friday night. The run up from 4 pm onwards appeared to suggest that the EPS-OPS factions would come together, but that did not happen.
The O Panneerselvam camp held a meeting last night, but it remained inconclusive. The OPS camp continued to insist that the ouster of Sasikala and family from the party officially must be a pre-condition to the merger.
The four hour marathon meet of the OPS camp discussed a host of issues. While the demand for a probe into the death of Jayalalithaa was accepted by the EPS camp, the Sasikala hurdle could not be scaled. The OPS camp would now await a formal announcement from the EPS camp about the ouster of Sasikala following which the merger would take place.
Meanwhile a possible power sharing formula too has been put in place. The demand to make OPS the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu will not be met. However he is likely to be made the deputy chief minister with an additional portfolio of finance. The post of party general secretary too is likely to be given to OPS.
On Friday the state machinery had already made arrangements. The Jayalalithaa memorial was decked up and signals were sent that a formal announcement regarding a merger would be made by 7.30. EPS was ready with his convoy and was set to reach the beachfront memorial. However towards the end of the day it became clear that the OPS faction had not arrived at any conclusion and EPS stayed put at his home.