The merger between the two AIADMK
factions, one led by O Panneerselvam
and the other by Edapadi Palaniswami, has hit a road block. The former chief minister and late chief minister J Jayalalithaa's close aide, Panneerselvam, announced that he has dissolved the committee he had set up to hold talks with the Palaniswami
In a letter issued on Sunday evening, Panneerselvam
said that he had dissolved the seven-member panel formed in April to hold merger talks between the two AIADMK
camp, which presently has 12 MPs and 11 legislators, also said that the Palaniswami
faction has not honoured their demand of expelling party chief VK Sasikala and her nephew, TTV Dinakaran.
"The decision was based on the feedback from our cadres, common people, especially from ladies," said Panneerselvam.
Rajya Sabha lawmaker V Maitreyan, who was a member of the now dissolved committee and is one of the senior leaders in the Panneerselvam
camp, gave the same reasons for the decision: That the other side has not expelled Sasikala and Dinakaran and that they have not sought a CBI probe into Jayalalithaa's death.
fractured into two camps following Jayalalithaa's death in December as its chief, VK Sasikala, tried to appropriate the chief minister's chair from Panneerselvam
before her subsequent conviction in a corruption case. Before her incarceration, Sasikala appointed Palaniswami, who many see as her proxy, as Tamil Nadu's chief minister and her nephew Dinakaran as the party's number two. Currently, the original party has three factions.
The Election Commission (EC) froze the party's two-leaves symbol after both sides staked claim their claim to it, saying they represent the original AIADMK.
In April, Dinakaran was arrested on charges of bribing EC officials to get control of the symbol.
Meanwhile, Parithi Ilamvazhuthi, a senior functionary in AIADMK’s Puratchi Thalaivi camp, led by Panneerselvam, on Sunday met the party’s Amma faction leader Dhinakaran. So far, 34 MLAs have met Dinakaran.