CHENNAI: Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam revealed on Tuesday that talks on merger of both factions of the AIADMK were indeed on and the atmosphere was conducive. Similar sentiments were expressed by R Vaithilingam, heading the team for merger talks in the faction headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
However, leaders of both the factions went ahead with speeding up the works relating to the dispute over the Two Leaves symbol and validity of VK Sasikala’s appointment as general secretary of the party, now pending before the Election Commission (EC).
The Panneerselvam faction filed 6,500 documents/affidavits from grassroots level functionaries before the EC on Tuesday morning. In the evening, the Chief Minister’s faction went into a huddle with secretaries of 15 party districts in southern Tamil Nadu.
“A conducive atmosphere is prevailing on both sides. We are talking with each other,” Panneerselvam told mediapersons after holding discussions with senior leaders of his faction at his residence.
In the evening, Vaithilingam too echoed similar views stating that there were good signs of merger of both the factions and all cadre and functionaries were expecting it.
The district secretaries meeting of AIADMK (Amma) faction went on for one-and-half hours. Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambidurai and senior ministers took part in the discussions. Sources said the district secretaries have been asked to furnish affidavits to be submitted before the EC in a week’s time.
Sources also said the collection of affidavits from party functionaries had been completed in most of the districts barring 5 to 10.
Initially, the functionaries had expressed ‘whole hearted’ support to Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran as heads. Now, a new sentence has been added extending support to Edappadi K Palanisamy who is also the headquarters secretary, to face any eventuality since Sasikala is undergoing imprisonment and Dhinakaran is facing tough times in Delhi. Next to general secretary and deputy general secretary, the headquarters secretary has powers to convene any meeting, sources said.
The district secretaries meeting will go on for next two days.