All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader O Pannerselvam on Sunday disbanded the seven-member committee that was set up to work out a merger with its rival AIADMK faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, PTI reported. Panneerselvam said the decision was taken based some “irresponsible statements” made by the Palaniswami camp.
“Wherever we went, people said there is no need for merger,” Panneerselvam said at a meeting in Thiruverkadu in Chennai on Sunday, according to The Times of India. “They are people of Tamil Nadu, particularly women, students, people who are neutral, even the media.” The former Tamil Nadu chief minister alleged that the MLAs who were put up at a resort near Chennai days before the trust vote on February 18, were gifted gold, diamond and cash, PTI reported. The trust vote was won by Palaniswsami.
After the Election Commission froze the AIADMK party symbol of two-leaves, the faction led by Panneerselvam was named AIADMK-Amma and the rival faction was named AIADMK-Puratchi Thalaivi Amma. The panel was formed in April 21 after both factions had expressed interest in a merger. However, the committees have not met even once since, reported NDTV.
The OPS camp had put forth two demands before the ruling camp – the expulsion of AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran from the party, and a CBI inquiry into late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death. In May, Panneerselvam had said that the merger between the two factions was not going to take place as their demands had not been met with.
Tamil Nadu has been at the centre of politial turmoil since the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5. Panneerselvam had been petitioning against Sasikala since her rise to the top of the AIADMK. He had formed a breakaway faction after she was appointed the AIADMK general secretary. Sasikala had been set to replace him as chief minister till she was convicted in an illegal assets case in February. However, she appointed Palaniswami the chief minister of Tamil Nadu before surrendering to the police.