AIADMK merger: OPS team sets final deadline

AIADMK merger: OPS team sets final deadline
AIADMK’s rebel faction, led by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, may cancel merger talks with the Chief Minister E Palaniswami camp if their key demands were not met, sources said.

Virtually setting a deadline till Tuesday for merger talks with the rival faction, Panneerselvam is set to launch a statewide tour from May 5.

Panneerselvam has planned to visit all 32 districts and meet his supporters during the tour which is likely to end by May last.

The tour, besides hoping the mop up support for him, is also seen as OPS’s attempt to prepare them for local body elections.

Mettur MLA S Semmalai, who had organised a meeting of party cadre last week, was quoted in a report as saying that, “He (Panneerselvam) will commence the tour from Kancheepuram.”

A senior member from the committee formed by the Panneerselvam camp for talks reportedly added that, “whichever way the talks go, we expect to arrive at a clear picture. In fact, our deadline is Tuesday”.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK (Amma) faction has said its only stand is that both groups of the party should settle disputes through dialogue.

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister D. Jayakumar, however, said there were “contradictions” in the rival camp, with each leader making different statements.

Jayakumar pointed out that Panneerselvam had said “conducive atmosphere” prevailed for the merger talks, but others, including former Ministers S. Semmalai and ‘Ma Foi’ K. Pandiarajan, were making different statements.