Confident Palaniswami, OPS hints merger on Monday

A day after failing to reach any consensus with regard to the merger of two AIADMK warring factions in Tamil Nadu, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and rebel camp leader O Panneerselvam indicated that the unification of the groups is likely on Monday.

The much-awaited announcement of merger did not take place on Friday night, despite both the camps holding marathon discussions among their respective

“Some differences have cropped up during discussions. These differences have now been sorted out through talks and the two groups will merge soon”, Palaniswami said at the in the MGR’s (party founder M G Ramachandran) birth centenary celebrations on Saturday.

Going one step further, Panneerselvam said that a “good decision” will be attained in a day or two. “Talks are going on smoothly with regard to the merger. A good decision will be arriving in a day or two”, Panneerselvam said after chairing a meeting with his supporters in the city.

Pannneerselvam also ruled out any differences of opinion within his party with regard to the merger.

Striking a discordant note, the TTV Dhinakaran camp warned of changing the chief minister if he did not run the government in a proper manner.

“We made Palaniswami as the chief minister considering that he will function well. But now it appears he has not been functioning properly”, Dhinakaran supporter and MLA Palaniappan said.

“If he (Palaniswami) did not function properly the chief minister will be changed”, he added. In another development, a total of 10 MLAs met Dhinakaran at his residence and discussed the developments in both AIADMK camps.

Downplaying the merger talks, Dhinakaran, who was sidelined by Palaniswami’s faction, said it (merger) would not last long and that it was also not a ‘setback’ to him.

There were also reports that the delay in the merger was due to hard bargaining on party and cabinet posts by Palaniswami faction and the OPS group. Sources from Palaniswami camp said the OPS group tabled a fresh demand for getting chief minister post besides asking two ministerial berths.

A senior party leader of Palaniswami’s group said: “We ready to offer deputy chief minister post and party general secretary position to OPS faction”. However, the offer was rejected by the rebel group, he added.

With both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam expressing confidence about the merger saying few issues were sorted out, both the leaders, who were out of the city, are expected to be back on Monday and announce the tie-up officially.