The meeting held by the faction headed by former Chief Minister O Panneeselvam in the thick of reported merger talks with the Government, led to much speculation on Friday. After five hours behind closed doors however, no announcement was made regarding the matter. Leaders in the Panneerselvam camp failed to come up to a consensus on becoming a part of the Government led by Edappadi Palanisami.
The reasons for this, according to reports, is that office bearers do not want to be associated to the corruption allegedly present in the current Government. The leaders in OPS faction further demanded that the probe into former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's death be be assisted by the CBI.
"Today (Friday) we met the office bearers at district levels and to seek their views on the merger with the AIADMK faction led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and also as to the future course of action," a senior leader, who wanted to remain anonymous, told IANS.
The process of merger of the two factions got accelerated after Palaniswami announced on Thursday a judicial inquiry into Jayalalithaa's death, after a prolonged illness, and the conversion of her Poes Garden residence here into a memorial.
Panneerselvam had laid three conditions for a merger: keeping out AIADMK General Secretary and the now jailed V.K. Sasikala and her family, ordering a judicial probe into Jayalalithaa's death and converting her home into a memorial.
The Palaniswami faction had only days ago declared the appointment of T.T.V. Dinakaran, Sasikala's nephew, as Deputy General Secretary as "improper, unacceptable and invalid".
This was challenged by Dinakaran, who is said to have the support of around 20 legislators and who on Friday called on Sasikala in jail in Bengaluru.
If the AIADMK merges, the party will get back its popular "two leaves" symbol which has been frozen by the Election Commission.
A likely merger will end the revolt ignited by Panneerselvam on February 7 when he dropped a bombshell, saying he was forced to resign as Chief Minister and to propose Sasikala as the party chief so that she could become the Chief Minister.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court decided a dragging corruption case against Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and her relatives.
The ruling ended Sasikala's dreams of becoming the Chief Minister. She was jailed.
After that, Sasikala-supporter Palaniswami became the Chief Minister but, over time, developed differences with Dinakaran and was willing to shake hands again with Panneerselvam.