‘No Sasikala, No TTV’: OPS makes three demands, says no merger unless they’re met

The first demand is personal, the second political, and the third very strategic.
‘No Sasikala, No TTV’: OPS makes three demands, says no merger unless they’re met
‘No Sasikala, No TTV’: OPS makes three demands, says no merger unless they’re met

“We want the party and the cadre to walk the path set by Puratchi Thalaivar MGR and Puratchi Thalaivi Amma,” said O Panneerselvam, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who is heading a faction of the AIADMK in the intra-party war that’s raging in the state.

On a day when there is hectic political activity in Tamil Nadu, between the two factions of AIADMK, O Panneerselvam gave a press conference to “clarify” his Monday’s comment that he’s open to a merger between the two factions.

“We will only agree to patch up if all our basic demands are met,” said Panneerselvam, as he set out to define his demands.

The first demand is personal: There will be no merger as long as Sasikala remains General Secretary.

“According to the party constitution, it is the cadre who have to elect the General Secretary. Sasikala’s appointment is invalid as per the party rules, and we have submitted a special petition to the EC on the issue,” OPS said.

Clearly, OPS, is not feeling very forgiving towards her.

The second demand is political: There will be no merger as long as TTV Dhinakaran remains in the party.

OPS once again recounted the tale of how Sasikala and her family were kicked out of the party by Jayalalithaa, and when Sasikala returned, Amma had only allowed her to come back.

For TTV Dhinakaran, specifically, OPS had some harsh words in store. “You have seen how he gave Rs 4000 per voter for the RK Nagar bye-polls. You have seen the subsequent I-T raids. You have also seen how the Delhi police has found that Dhinakaran was trying to bribe the Election Commission,” Panneerselvam recounted.

“He’s giving a bad name to the party,” OPS declared, making it clear that there will be no patch-up unless Dhinakaran is booted out.

The third demand is very strategic: There will be no merger unless there is a judicial probe into Jayalalithaa’s death.

Amma’s death is an emotional issue for the cadre of AIADMK, and the people of Tamil Nadu. Ever since he broke away from Sasikala, Panneerselvam has positioned himself as a victim - he has constantly claimed that he was not allowed near Jayalalithaa while she was admitted in Apollo, and he has raised doubts over the treatment given to the former Chief Minister.’

This demand is his way of telling the party cadre that he will not stop being the true follower of Amma - the man she trusted as her deputy, the man who will ensure that there is justice.

However, TNM has learnt that other than all these demands, OPS has made another demand, which he hasn't declared openly: He should be made the Chief Minister as well as the General Secretary of the party, and that all senior leaders with him should be given Cabinet posts.

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