The AIADMK (Amma) faction today described as “opportunism” rival O Panneerselvam camp’s demand for a CBI probe into former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death as a precondition for merger talks. State Finance Minister D Jayakumar said such “politics of opportunism” will not succeed and questioned why Panneerselvam had not “taken action” in this regard when he was the chief minister for 75 days, following Jayalalithaa’s death in December last. “OPS (Panneerselvam) was the chief minister for 75 days. He should have taken action then itself. Not taking action then and putting forward such a demand now is opportunism which the people will not accept,” he told reporters here.
“There is no history of politics of opportunism succeeding. It will be swept away by the tides of time,” he added. A CBI probe into Jayalalithaa’s “mysterious” death is among the conditions put forward by the AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma faction, led by Panneerselvam, for the merger talks to commence with the rival faction, led by Chief Minister EK Palaniswami. The other demand of the Panneerselvam camp is the expulsion of jailed AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala, her nephew and deputy TTV Dhinakaran and other members of the family from the party.
Jayakumar reiterated that the AIADMK Amma faction was “ready for talks” with the rival camp. The merger talks, however, have failed to make any headway with the OPS faction sticking to their demands. To a question on Panneerselvam’s reported remarks that snap polls were likely in Tamil Nadu, Jayakumar termed them as “mischievous and unacceptable”.
He expressed confidence that the “Amma government”, headed by Palaniswami, will not only complete its term till 2021, but will also retain power in the Assembly election due that year. The next Assembly polls will take place in Tamil Nadu “only in 2021,” said Jayakumar.