Panneerselvam toughens stance on merger as noose around Dinakaran tightens — AIADMK crisis

Dinakaran and Sasikala were ousted earlier from the party, with Tamil Nadu finance minister D Jayakumar saying they had been "delinked".

O Panneerselvam later said this - the ouster of Sasikala and Dinakaran - was his faction's first victory.

This comes amid reports of a possibility of a merger between the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam faction and Dinakaran led Sasikala faction.

"Even party elections are conducted, the cadres will ask OPS (Panneerselvam) to contest for general secretary post", Munusamy said. Reciprocating the sentiments, the rival faction led by O Panneerselvam, chosen by Jayalalitha twice and the Governor once to officiate as Chief Minister, expressed willingness to merge with the rival faction and reclaim the "two leaves" symbol, key to AIADMK's electoral success.

Hitting out at senior leader M Thambidurai who had said Palaniswami would continue as Chief Minister, Munusamy said they had not demanded the posts of either the Chief Minister or the party general secretary.

On Wednesday night, Delhi Police served Dinakaran summons at his Chennai residence over his alleged attempt to bribe Election Commission officials in a case related to the party's frozen poll symbol. Dinakaran is the party's Deputy General Secretary. Incidentally, he is likely to be in the committee of leaders holding talks with the OPS faction.

Regarding the second demand of probing late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa's death, Vaithilingam said the demand for the same is under the court's consideration, adding the government will follow the order.

Panneerselvam had on Wednesday demanded a CBI probe against Sasikala, following allegations from several people, including AIADMK veterans, that she had poisoned Jayalalithaa. The party split as Mr Panneerselvam rebelled after being forced to step down as Chief Minister.

Defence counsel Ashwini Kumar and M. Theepa also told court that police are not allowing them to meet him. Responding to a question about joining hands with Panneerselvam, he said, "It is a separate issue and we desire to be united and retrieve the two-leaves symbol".

"Nobody respects Thambidurai", he said adding that TTV Dinakaran was evicted because he has many cases against him that is why Sasikala family removed him. "A team has been formed for talks with the O. Pannerselvam camp for a possible merger", says School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan.

At a press conference in Pannerselvam's house, former Tamil Nadu minister and AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaiva Amma) leader KP Munusamy indirectly sought Palaniswami's resignation.

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