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TN ministers hold talks to discuss unity of AIADMK factions

Last updated on: April 18, 2017 01:05 IST

In what can be called as a major hint towards sewing up an unprecedented merger between two warring factions, the Sasikala and the O Panneerselvam groups of the All Anna India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam met on late Monday night in Chennai.

The focus of the late night meeting was on the residences of Thangamani and Udumalai Radhakrishnan where two separate meetings went on to discuss the resignation of Sasikala's nephew TTV Dinakaran.

The developments come a day after Panneerselvam opined that he would welcome a merger of both factions.

"We appreciate OPS's offer to merge. We spoke about how to function if we merge," said AIADMK leader D Jayakumar at the press briefing.

Ruling party legislators have also been asked to be available in Chennai on Tuesday, sources said.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister K Palaniswami too held talks with his Cabinet colleagues.

If the merger does come successful, this will be a new chapter in the political drama of the AIADMK post late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's demise.

Earlier, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai said that Dinakaran faction was ready for talks with Panneerselvam for a patch-up.

"Those who left due to differences... let them come, we are ready to talk," he told reporters.

Repeatedly asserting that "all are united," and there was "no split" in the party, he said there may be differences in a democracy and it should be addressed.

Stating that all the leaders, including him and Panneerselvam, were elected on the 'two leaves' symbol of the AIADMK, he emphasised that it was the collective responsibility of all partymen to continue the regime of 'Amma' (late chief minister Jayalalithaa).

Thambidurai, who earlier called on Chief Minister K Palaniswami at the secretariat, said, "We will get back the 'two leaves' symbol and to get that we will function unitedly."

He said Amma regime should continue and for that "All should give their support," adding "it is important to retain the government and all MLAs are united."

Denying that the party symbol had been frozen, he said it was applicable only for the bypoll which had been cancelled.

"To freeze a symbol, there should be a split... comprising exit of two-thirds of partymen including MPs...there is no such split," he added.