AIADMK had split into two factions after the demise of former Chief Minister Jayalalitha, one faction led by Edappadi K Palanisamy the incumbent Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the other led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
The Panneerselvam faction had laid down two conditions for a merger - an inquiry into Jayalalithaa's death (varying from a CBI probe to a judicial probe) and expelling Sasikala and her family from the AIADMK. Hundreds of party workers are at the AIADMK headquarters but talks between Chief Minister E Palaniswami or EPS and his predecessor O Panneerselvam or OPS have apparently not gone as planned.
Meanwhile following the merger of two factions, the Panneerselvam-Palaniswamy faction may get back the party's popular "two leaves" symbol which has been frozen by the Election Commission.
Leaders like V Maitreyan, KP Munusamy and Manoj Pandian had told Panneerselvam that he should not agree for a merger unless Sasikala is removed from her post and the party.
AIADMK workers in dark on party moves
The OPS faction, despite welcoming the probe into Jayalalithaa's death, also contemplated on seeking the expulsion of jailed Sasikala from the party as the final pre-requisite before joining hands with the EPS camp. "We can be sure that the two leaders (OPS, EPS) will put all their bitterness aside and move ahead with positive measures to seal the unification rather than allow the wounds to fester and permit trouble-makers to play mischief", he said. "I am happy to inform you that both the AIADMK factions will merge soon", Mr Palaniswami said. The talks are going on smoothly. VK Sasikala has not yet been shown the door though the OPS camp is mounting pressure that it should be done by convening a special meeting of senior leaders on Monday before the merger can take place.
Sarvanan also wondered how the merger will be beneficial for people of Tamil Nadu.
Chennai: According to sources, the sparring AIADMK factions just inched closer towards a merger. Two special wreaths were also kept ready apparently to enable Palaniswami and Panneerselvam to offer their respects at the burial site.