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Merger Talks Non-starter; How Can I Trust OPS Camp, Asks Palaniswami

Palaniswami, without naming Panneerselvam's group, said "some" were "posing obstacles," though his camp was ready for "unconditional talks." He said conditions were being imposed by the rival camp wantonly.

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Updated:May 2, 2017, 9:57 AM IST
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Merger Talks Non-starter; How Can I Trust OPS Camp, Asks Palaniswami
File photo of O Panneerselvam (left) and E Palaniswami. (PTI Photos)
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Chennai: The AIADMK rival factions merger have hit a major roadblock as both Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam blamed each other for the non-movement of talks.

“How can I or my supporters trust the them (Palaniswami-led group)?” quizzed O Panneerselvam after coming to know that the in-power group had furnished affidavits to the Election Commission affirming VK Sasikala and and TTV Dinakaran as party general secretary and deputy general secretary respectively, reported PTI.

Palaniswami, without naming Panneerselvam's group, said "some" were "posing obstacles," though his camp was ready for "unconditional talks." He said conditions were being imposed by the rival camp wantonly.

Citing the symbol row in the EC and a court case, he asked how parleys could be conducted with strings attached under such circumstances.

The chief minister, at a public meeting here, asserted that only through dialogue a solution could be found to the issue. He said Amma group felt that both the government and party should function well.

Former chief minister O Panneerselvam had said that the Palaniswami camp had already given affidavits to the EC stating Sasikala and Dinakaran as party general and deputy general secretaries, affirming their roles as the party chief and deputy chief.

Now, a new addition was the inclusion of the name of Palaniswami as well in the papers submitted to the EC, he noted. Referring to the names of Sasikala and Dinakaran figuring in the papers submitted to the EC, he asked "how we can believe them."

Panneerselvam group had been opposing Sasikala and Dinakaran from the beginning and had demanded their formal ouster from the party as a pre-condition for talks.

Palaniswami group had announced days ago that both Sasikala and Dinakaran will be "kept out" of both the party and the government.

Last week, Amma camp functionaries including district secretaries held deliberations in the party headquarters here during which papers that were to be submitted to the EC also came up.

Senior leader R Vaithialingam had said that Palaniswami who also happens to be the party headquarters secretary was included in the party papers to be given to EC and no "corrections" were made.

The papers were part of the documents that were submitted in connection with the ‘two leaves’ symbol row.

At that time, Panneerselvam camp had claimed that signatures were being taken from functionaries in papers that still had the names of Sasikala and Dinakaran even after announcing that they were being eased out.

Meanwhile, sources said Panneerselvam will embark on a state-wide tour on May 5 from Kanchipuram to meet party workers and the public.

(With PTI Inputs)

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