The differences over the merger of two AIADMK factions today again came to fore, with Tamil Nadu Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan accusing the O Panneerselvam camp of not coming forward for the unity talks. “Though the ruling party (AIADMK Amma) has expressed willingness for coming together of the party, the Paneerselvam camp is not ready for talks,” he told reporters here.
He recalled that Chief Minister K Palaniswami had recently asked the OPS led Puratchi Thalaivi Amma faction to reunite with the parent party in the interest of serving the people.
A CBI probe into former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s “mysterious death” is among the conditions laid down by the Panneerselvam-led AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma faction for merger talks to commence with the rival Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led group.
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The merger talks have failed to make any headway with the OPS faction remaining firm on their demands.
Their other demand is explusion of jailed AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala, her nephew and deputy TTV Dhinakaran and members of their family from the party.
Srinivasan, treasurer of the AIADMK (Amma) faction, reiterated that Sasikala was elected as General Secretary by party leaders, including Paneerselvam, C Ponnaiyan and P H Pandian, now in the OPS camp, and she in turn had appointed him (Srinivasan) as treasurer.
“According to party regulations and with the consent of banks, we are spending the funds. However, Paneerselvam has filed a complaint stating that there are irregularities in spending,” he said.
He claimed that AIADMK (Amma) has with it 123 MLAs, all General council members and 37 MPs and that 98 per cent of party workers in the state are with them.
Srinivasan later distributed degrees to 39 forest range officer trainees, including six women who completed 18 months course at a function at the Tamil Nadu Forest Academy here.