CHENNAI: Merger talks between the two factions of the AIADMK failed to take off on Monday despite a text message invite from the ruling faction. The crisis of confidence was clearly visible, as the O Panneerselvam faction harped on its two main pre-conditions - purging the Sasikala clan and seeking CBI probe into Jayalalithaa’s death - for initiating talks. But the ruling faction saw in it an attempt to stall talks.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami held two-hour-long discussions with senior ministers at the party headquarters here. R Vaithilingam, who is heading the seven-member team of the EPS faction, said, “Today is pradosham, an auspicious day and so we wished to begin talks. We contacted the other faction. But they put pre-conditions through the media.” “A solution can be arrived at only if we sit for negotiations. Laying down pre-conditions is tantamount to stalling the talks,” he added.
However, the rebel faction leader Munusamy accused the AIADMK-Amma of making confusing statements. While Vaithilingam noted that the rival faction did not respond positively despite sending SMS to Munusamy and JCD Prabhakar for commencing the talks and contacting Manoj Pandian over phone, Munusamy said they were not invited for talks.
Vaithilingam officially announced the members of the team headed by him which would hold merger talks - K A Sengottaiyan, Dindigul C Srinivasan, D Jayakumar, C Ve Shanmugam, P Thangamani and S P Velumani. Meanwhile, the CM convened a three-day meeting of party district secretaries from Tuesday.