OPS faction hardens stance for merger talks

Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, who paid a "courtesy call" to the Governor just minutes before his party colleague's meeting, refused to answer the question on seeking Sasikala and Dhinakaran's resignation.

The Delhi Police had last night served summons to him in the case.

The Crime Branch had on April 16 arrested an alleged middleman, Sukesh Chandrashekhar, in New Delhi in connection with the case.

OPS said that Sasikala has betrayed Amma's cause and was even sacked by Jayalalithaa along with Dinakaran and the party needs to be saved from dynastic politics.

Political commentator TS Sudhir says in an article published recently: " It is logical for EPS campers to believe that in the post-Sasikala era, they can be on the right side of the BJP, replacing Panneerselvam".

The strife in the party resulted in the formation of two factions, one headed by O Panneerselvam retaining the old name AIADMK with the addition of Puratchi Thalaivi Amma as a suffix. They have betrayed her. Betrayers have to go, ' Panneerselvam added.

Earlier in the day, two other MLAs P Vetrivel and Andipatti legislator Thanga Tamil Selvan had voiced support for Dhinakaran.

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Regarding the second demand of probing late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa's death, Vaithilingam said the demand for the same is under the court's consideration, adding the government will follow the order.

"If this is done, we'll accept that our demands have been met", he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, after a stellar win in four states out of five in the assembly elections, is trying to make a strong case in Tamil Nadu.

Amid reports that the talks had hit a roadblock with leaders of the two factions insisting on the Chief Minister's post, the former minister said that they never asked for the post of the CM or party general secretary. However, Sudhakaran was later publicly disowned by Jayalalithaa and Dinakaran was ousted from the party in 2011 on suspicions of meddling with its internal affairs. The Palanisamy camp claims that it would not be prudent for the state to have its 4th CM in 6 months, and hence Palanisamy should continue.

The talks of merger began after an FIR was registered against Dhinakaran for allegedly offering bribe to an Election Commission official for the ownership of the "Two Leaves" symbol.

Panneerselvam also wants the Palaniswami government to recommend a CBI probe to go into the circumstances that led to Jayalalithaa's death in December previous year.

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