The negotiations for the merger of the two factions, led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, E Palaniswamy and AIADMK faction O Palaniswamy Government seem to be non-starter.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K. Palanisami hardened his position and accused former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam’s group of emphasizing their conditions for talks. In a closed door meeting of party workers at his home district of Salem, EPS had rejected both the demands of the OPS and stated as impossible, since both issues are up before the Madras High Court and the Election Commission. A confident and defiant Palanisami said “The government and party are with us. We have 123 MLAs, 48 district secretaries and 37 MPs. We don’t need their support for the government or party.”
The EPS reportedly said at the meeting, “Two wheels are necessary for running a cart. As far as we are concerned, both wheels, the government and party are with us. Panneerselvam group is traveling in a cart without wheels. About 90% of the office-bearers are with us. We need not fear anything.”
The objective of the AIADMK is to defeat DMK. EPS concluded saying that, “The splinter group was called for talks to unite the party. They initially said the talks will be unconditional. However, they changed their stand and put forth conditions, obstructing the talks. We have enough strength.” This speech of the CM, came as a shock to the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) group, which discussed its own strategy on Monday.
Panneerselvam conducted a meeting of his supporters who said after the hard hitting speech of the Chief Minister, the negotiations would not be favorable. The OPS group, had taken a decision to go to the people’s court through a campaign tour throughout the State. A district-wise meeting of the OPS party would be held in Kanchipuram on May 5. Such meetings would be held in all the districts throughout May. The OPS group, after eliciting the opinion of the workers, would celebrate the centenary of party founder and former Chief Minister MGR.
The ruling AIADMK (Amma), realizing the futility of continuing the negotiations, had decided to carry on with the other government and party works. The signatures in affidavits from party functionaries with the names of general secretary VK Sasikala, deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran and Palanisami, was obtained by the ruling group. On April 21, a seven-member team, was formed by both the factions, but the team members did not meet even once. The leaders in each faction had come out with opposing views which had spoiled the negotiations. With both the factions deciding to go for their routine schedule, the negotiations for merger does not appear to be in the horizon at the moment.