No unconditional talks: OPS

Hints that he may not be amenable to Edappadi continuing as Chief Minister

Updated - April 19, 2017 01:09 am IST

Published - April 19, 2017 12:22 am IST - THENI

Reaching out: O. Panneerselvam addressing cadre at his residence. File photo

Reaching out: O. Panneerselvam addressing cadre at his residence. File photo

Ruling out holding “unconditional talks” for the merger of the two factions of the AIADMK, former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Tuesday said that he would not compromise on his demand for the exit of the Sasikala family from the party and instituting a judicial inquiry into the treatment administered to party leader Jayalalithaa.

Asked whether his faction would accept Edappadi K. Palaniswami as the Chief Minister in the event of a merger, Mr. Panneerselvam dismissed it saying: “Why should we bother about things that would not happen.”

He, however, expressed willingness to meet any team from the AIADMK (Amma) to unify the two factions on the basis of the principles laid down by the AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa to run the party as a mass organisation instead of a “family held” enterprise.

Addressing journalists here in the backdrop of Monday night’s meeting of Ministers, where it was decided to prepare the grounds for a possible unification of the AIADMK (Amma) and AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma), he said the party should not be in the hands of a family.

‘Misquoted by media’

He claimed that the media had, on Monday, misquoted him as saying that there were no conditions to hold talks for a merger. “I had only said that I consented to the possibility of a merger and did not say that there were no conditions for the same,” Mr. Panneerselvam contended.

Cadre’s view

According to him, the party cadre too agreed that the AIADMK should not be controlled by a family. “Our leaders MGR and Amma (Jayalalithaa) were determined that the party should not go into the hands of any one family and believed that the party was for the people. The AIADMK is a democratic party meant for the people. Failing to follow their principles would amount to injustice to them and to the people,” he explained.

“We had already made our stand clear at Jayalalithaa’s mausoleum. The same family (Sasikala) has been continuously committing blunders spoiling the reputation of the State. We stick to our stand. Talks should be based on the principles of our leaders. If they refused within this framework, the merger may not be possible. We want to find the truth behind the death of our party supremo Jayalalithaa. As told earlier, our ‘ dharma yudham ’ will continue,” he reiterated.

Stating that Sasikala’s elevation as general secretary was against the bylaws of the party, he said that Jayalalithaa had sacked Sasikala and 15 of her relatives. Only Sasikala was reinstated on the promise that she would not aspire for any political position. Now, they (Sasikala group) had gone to the level of bribing Election Commission officials to grab the party symbol.

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