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Merger of EPS, OPS Factions of AIADMK Likely Soon, Jaya Memorial Decked Up

The two rival camps led to EPS and OPS entered into discussions on Friday morning to chalk out the future course of action, a day after the Tamil Nadu government announced a probe into the death of J Jayalalithaa.

News18.com

Updated:August 18, 2017, 8:57 PM IST
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Merger of EPS, OPS Factions of AIADMK Likely Soon, Jaya Memorial Decked Up
File photo of O Panneerselvam (left) and E Palaniswami. (PTI)
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Chennai: The two factions of the AIADMK are likely to announce a merger shortly, after Tamil Nadu chief minister EK Palaniswami agreed to the conditions laid down by rebel leader O Panneerselvam on Thursday. J Jayalalithaa’s memorial has been decked up for the formal announcement, which is expected later tonight.

Sources have told News18 that Panneerselvam is likely to be made the deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu. According to sources, while EPS will continue to be the CM, OPS will get to head a seven-member committee that will run the party till the election of the next general secretary.

The two rival camps led to EPS and OPS entered into discussions on Friday morning to chalk out the future course of action, a day after the Tamil Nadu government announced a probe into the death of J Jayalalithaa.

While CM Palaniswami was closeted with his Cabinet colleagues to deliberate on the matter, the rival camp held its own meeting.

The meeting held at the residence of Panneerselvam, a former chief minister, was attended by the top leaders of his camp, including former ministers K P Munusamy, K Panidarajan, besides MLAs, MPs and other office-bearers.

Panneerselvam, who has the support of about 10 MLAs and a dozen MPs, is expected to formally respond to Palaniswamy's announcement on setting up of an inquiry commission to probe Jayalalithaa's death and conversion of her Poes Garden home into a memorial, two key demands of his faction for the merger.

The formal expulsion of jailed party general secretary VK Sasikala and her kin, including deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran, from the AIADMK was the other major demand.

While the Palaniswami camp has "delegitimised" Dhinakaran's post, it was maintaining that Sasikala's appointment was hanging in balance as the matter was pending with the Election Commission and the court.

Though the Panneerselvam faction had sought "either a CBI or a judicial probe," in March, some of its leaders now claim that the demand was for only a CBI investigation.

Against this background, the meeting chaired by the chief minister is deliberating on various issues raised by the OPS faction.

Simultaneously, supporters of Dhinakaran are holding consultations at a city hotel even as he met his aunt Sasikala in a Bengaluru prison earlier in the day along with his family. The supporters also held functions to celebrate the Sasikala's birthday today by disbursing welfare assistance.
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