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Sasikala banners out from AIADMK headquarters; OPS faction welcomes move

Removal of banners is the first step; removing Sasikala from the party remains the core demand

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

sasikala, AIADMK
V K Sasikala

Banners featuring general secretary were on Wednesday pulled down from the party headquarters, a move welcomed by the rival camp.

The (Amma) faction, however, said the removal of the banners had nothing to do with the demand of its rivals.

"We did not remove the banners because they (Puratchi Thalaivi camp) demanded so. They were removed as per an earlier decision taken by us," Law Minister C Ve Shanmugam, told reporters.

The camp's 'Presidium Chairman' E Madusudanan had on Tuesday made such a demand to "uphold the sanctity" of the party office.

Meanwhile, former Minister and key aide K P Munusamy said differences between the "brothers", an apparent reference to the rival factions, would be overcome and talks will be held in a conducive atmosphere.

The party headquarters addressed as 'Thalamai Kazhagam' in Tamil, now has only banners of late chief minister

The Panneerselvam camp said removal of the banners was the "first step" in implementing their core demand of removing Sasikala from

"The pulling down of banners (featuring) Sasikala, whom we want to be removed from the party, is the first step in the implementation of that demand. We express our happiness over that," former Minister and key Panneerselvam aide K P Munusamy said.

Shanmugam said the leader of the faction panel, R Vaithilingam, MP, has "contacted those" in the Panneerselvam camp and invited them for talks today.

"So far there has been no information from them. We are ready to hold talks whenever required," he said.

On the issue of merger talks, Munusamy said only the media was speculating on it but had not specified when the two factions planned to sit down and thrash out differences.

The rival faction was also "heeding to our demands," he said, in an apparent reference to the removal of Sasikala banners.

"They (faction) are aware of our aspirations and there are many who want to do that (merger talks) and some who don't want to," he said, adding, the pulling down of the banners was proof that efforts are on to "rein in such persons" in the opposite camp.

Munuswamy pointed out that Panneerselvam himself had stated yesterday that a conducive atmosphere was evolving in both factions for holding talks.

"Talks will happen when there will be an atmosphere for an amicable solution," he added.

Lashing out at AIADMK Deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran, Munusamy said he had committed a "big mistake" by allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official for retaining the party's Two Leaves symbol, an issue that has landed him in the police net.

He said though such an "extraordinary situation" came up even after the death of party founder (MGR), when AIADMK loyalists were divided between MGR's widow Janaki and Jayalalithaa, "none tried to bribe the EC".

"None tried to bribe the EC to get the Two Leaves symbol then," Munusamy said, adding Jayalalithaa took over the leadership of AIADMK after Janaki "stepped aside."

However, Dhinakaran was now making "backdoor" efforts to wrest control of the party by having tried to bribe the EC, he alleged.

Responding to Dhinakaran's arrest, he said "the law has done its duty."

To a question, he said their demand for a CBI probe into the "mysterious death" of Jayalalithaa will remain "alive.

First Published: Wed, April 26 2017. 15:57 IST