Talks on the merger of the two AIADMK factions are going on smoothly and a positive result is expected in a day or two, former chief minister O Panneerselvam said.
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.
“The talks are going on smoothly. A positive result is expected in a day or two,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Palaniswami Palaniswami, who is in Tiruvarur to take part in AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran’s centenary celebrations, said he was confident that “both the factions would merge soon”.
The chief minister said a difference of opinion between the two factions had emerged earlier and that they were now being addressed through discussions.
“I am happy to inform that both the factions will merge soon,” he told reporters at Tiruvarur in Thanjavur district.
Responding to a query on whether MLAs of Panneerselvam faction would get a berth in the cabinet, Palaniswami merely said, “discussions are going on.”
“(AIADMK Supremo and former Chief Minister) Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (Jayalalithaa who is fondly called as Amma) has been guarding the party as her own eyelid. She has given various schemes and projects for the benefit of the people,” he said.
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 Dhinakaran held deliberations with supporters at his residence here.
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.
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.
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.
After it became clear that the merger talks would be deferred, the wreaths were removed and public was allowed to enter the burial site later.