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O Panneerselvam begins statewide tour, interest in AIADMK merger dwindles

By Anusha Ravi

Former chief minister of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam kickstarted his statewide campaign on Friday. With AIADMK merger talks in limbo, both factions are fast losing interest. Panneerselvam has launched his month-long statewide tour ahead of the local body polls.

O Panneerselvam in Kanchipuram

Massive crowds gathered at Kanchipuram where O Panneerselvam was set to address his first public meet. The AIADMK PTA faction promoted his statewide tour as a movement to gather support. The tour is a show of strength by the Panneerslvam camp. It is aimed at proving a point to the Edappadi Palanisamy camp which has been claiming to have the support of the cadres.

With his statewide camp, Panneerselvam has only shown that whether or not merger takes place, he is willing to go into elections independently. While both factions have appointed a committee to hold talks, nothing concrete has happened on that front. Both committees have not come face to face to hold talks however, backdoor lobbying and negotiations have been going on for weeks now.

The Panneerselvam camp has made their demands public and the Edappadi Palanisamy camp has claimed to have no preconditions whatsoever. However, sources suggest that demands made by Panneerselvam camp in public are very different from demands made behind closed doors. Likewise, the Edappadi Palanisamy camp that claims to have no preconditions has also put forward their demands behind closed doors.

With either party not willing to blink, the talks have been shelved for now. While Edappadi Palanisamy is holding meetings with district secretaries, Panneerselvam is going to the people. He hopes to consolidate support across Tamil Nadu in the name of Jayalalithaa with this tour ahead of the local body polls. The polls are crucial in deciding the fate of AIADMK in Tamil Nadu as well as DMK's fortunes.

OneIndia News

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