With the merger talks between the two AIADMK factions slated to be held today, Finance Minister D Jayakumar on Sunday declared that he was willing to sacrifice his portfolio for the sake of the party.
“I’m ready to give up the finance portfolio to Panneerselvam for the welfare of the party,” he told reporters.
However, an AIADMK legislator from the Panneerselvam faction said on the condition of anonymity, “We have said that he (Panneerselvam) should take over as chief minister, as per the wishes of the people and cadre. And, that is how things have shaped up in the last few days. We can expect a positive decision.”
Jayakumar, who is ranked seventh in the order of seniority in the Tamil Nadu Cabinet, was given the finance portfolio a fortnight after the Edappadi K Palaniswami government was sworn in. He continues to hold the fisheries portfolio.
Hardening its stance for merger talks, the Panneerselvam camp had on Thursday demanded that the faction led by Palanisamy formally expel Sasikala and Dinakaran besides about 30 other members of their family from the party.
In February, Panneerselvam had claimed that the party was in a state of chaos after he was forced by Sasikala to resign as chief minister.