CHENNAI: IN a surprise move, the AIADMK-PTA announced the disbanding of a committee, formed previously to negotiate with the AIADMK-Amma faction, thereby ruling out any possibility of a merger.
Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam made the announcement at a party workers’ meeting held at Velappanchavadi near Chennai on Sunday amid roaring applause from cadre and leaders.
“The committee formed to hold merger talks is being disbanded today itself,” he said.
As soon as OPS declared this, top leaders on the dias rushed to greet him for the brave decision.
Earlier, setting the stage for a dramatic move, senior leader and former MLA JCD Prabhakar said neither OPS or Ma Foi K Pandiarajan were eying either CM post or ministerial berth until getting ‘justice’ for former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death.
He also asked his compatriots whether the committee for merger talks was necessary and sought to dissolve it honouring the sentiments of party cadre. Ma Foi Pandiarajan and former minister Natham R Viswanathan also expressed a similar opinion.
While announcing the decision to disband the committee, Panneerselvam said these leaders made his job easy.
Although both factions appeared to show keen interest in merger, they weren’t earnest about it.
The OPS faction had put forth two key demands, a thorough probe into Jayalalithaa’s death and expulsion of Sasikala’s family from party.
The other faction, despite announcing that it would have no truck with the Mannargudi family, was not ready to remove them formally from the party, sources noted.