A majority of the district level office-bearers of the AIADMK faction led by O Panneerselvam do not want to be part of a government seen as corrupt, while its leaders want the probe into the death of former Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa to be headed by a serving judge and assisted by the CBI, a senior faction leader said on Friday.
“Today (Friday) we met the office bearers at district levels and to seek their views on the merger with the AIADMK faction led by Chief Minister K.Palaniswami and also as to the future course of action,” the leader, who wanted to remain anonymous, told IANS.
“The officials at the district level are not in favour of the merger but to secure the party in safe hands,” he added.
He said they want Panneerselvam to be declared as AIADMK General Secretary.
According to him, neither Panneerselvam nor anybody had said the Friday evening meeting is about a merger.
Queried about the floral decoration at Jayalalithaa’s memorial on the Marina beach, he countered: “Who did the floral decoration? It is the government and not us. There was no positive signal sent from our side to the government on merger for them to go ahead with floral decoration.”
According to the leader, Panneerselvam listened to the views of the party men at the meeting and discussions with party members will continue on Saturday also.
However, there are difference of opinions within the Panneeerselvam camp.
On Thursday, Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan, a former minister and a leader in the Panneerselvam faction, tweeted that he was delighted.
He said: “Victory for OPS dharma yuddham. All three demands by OPS met decisively. Time to transparently negotiate for merger.”
His tweet came soon after Chief Minister Palaniswami announced the setting up of an inquiry commission to probe the death of Jayalalithaa and conversion of her residence into a memorial.
However K.Munusamy, a veteran leader, demanded a CBI probe into Jayalalithaa’s death.