“No longer interested in this drama,” said the former TN CM.

Why OPS has said enough is enough and cancelled merger talks
news Politics Monday, June 12, 2017 - 17:16

A non-starter for several weeks, the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam sounded the death knell to merger talks with the ruling AIADMK faction. On Sunday, OPS formally announced that the committee formed for merger talks stands dismantled.

On Monday, the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister reiterated that there is no possibility for talks.

Speaking to reporters, AIADMK leader, Panneerselvam said, “There was no constructive developments from that side and that's the reason we took this decision.”

The seven-member panel that was led by former AIADMK Minister KP Munusamy was constituted on April 21 following Finance Minister Jayakumar’s announcement that VK Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran would be kept away from the party. While Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had also formed a seven-member panel led by Rajya Sabha minister R Vaithilingam, the merger talks had remained a non-starter with the OPS faction demanding that Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran be removed from the party and a CBI probe be ordered into the death of Jayalalithaa.

A source in the OPS camp said that ministers had in private agreed that they would sack Sasikala and family from party, but never actually did anything about it. "They kept giving interviews saying we will keep family away and gave us assurances in private. Now, we are tired of waiting," the source said.

“Since the talks between both the factions began, they have been carrying out a drama, we are no longer interested in this drama,” noted OPS.

However, Finance Minister D Jayakumar on Monday went on to insist that the doors for talks have not yet been shut and appeared confident that the two factions will merge. This even as Law Minister Cve Shanmugan filed 1.52 lakh affidavits before the Election Commission in the battle for the now frozen two leaves symbol of the AIADMK.

While Team OPS has been criticised by rivals for being the “B-Team” of the BJP, Panneerselvam said that with regard to the Presidential Elections, they would take a decision on whom to support based on who the candidates are.


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